Illinois State Exemption List 

Under Illinois bankruptcy law you must use the Illinois State Exemption List. The Federal Exemption List can not be used. The goal of the exemption list is to allow the filer to keep enough assets to start over after bankruptcy. Certain states may require an individual to live in their state for a certain time period to use their state exemption list.

The following table summarizes the Illinois State exemptions that can be used for personal property and other assets in the bankruptcy petition. The following exemptions will identify personal property which will be protected and not part of the bankruptcy process. Unfortunately, not all your assets may have a matching exemption.

Prior to filing bankruptcy in Illinois, it is important to talk to a Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney who can help determine what assets or property you own which may be exempt. The following information is very general. It is important to talk to a Illinois Nankruptcy Attorney who is familiar with your financial situation.

Exemptions Exemption Amount Statutes

Real or personal property including a farm, lot and building, condo, co-op or mobile home to $7,500; sale proceeds exempt 1 year from sale

735-5/12-901, 735-5/12-906
  Homestead exemption after death or desertion of one spouse for benefit of remaining spouse and/or minor children - (Limit 7,500/7,500) 735-5/12-902
    First National Bank v Mohr 515 N.E. 2d 1356 (App. Ct. Ill. 1998)
Personal Property Bible, family pictures, schoolbooks and needed clothing 735-5/12-1001(a)
  Health aids 735-5/12-1001(e)
  Motor vehicle to $1,200 735-5/121001(c)
  Personal injury recoveries to $7500 735-5/12-1001(g)(4)
  Proceeds of sold exempt property 735-5/12-1001
  Title certificate for boat over 12 feet 652-45/3A-7


Alimony, child support needed for support 735-5/12-1001(g)(4)
  Property of business partnership 805-205/25
Public Benefits Aid to aged, blind, disabled, AFDC 305-5/11-3
  Crime victims’ compensation 735-5/12-1001(h)(1)
  Restitution payments on account of WWII relocation of Aleuts and Japanese Americans 735-5/12-1001(12)(h)(5)
  Social security 735-5/12-1001(g)(1)
  Unemployment compensation 735-5/12-1001(g)(1), (3)
  Veterans’ benefits 735-5/12-1001(g)(2)
  Workers’ compensation 820-305/21
  Workers’ occupational disease compensation 820-310/21
Pensions Civil service employees 40-5/11-223
  County employees 40-5/9-228
  Disabled firefighters; widows and children of firefighters 40-5/22-230
  ERISA-qualified benefits 735-5/12-1006
  Civil service employees 40-5/4-135, 40-5/6-213
  County employees 40-5/2-154
  Disabled firefighters; widows and children of firefighters 40-5/19-117
  ERISA-qualified benefits 40-5/18-161
  Firefighters 40-5/7-217(a), 40-5/8-224
  General assembly members 40-5/12-190
  House of correction employees 40-5/3-144.1, 40-5/5-218
  Judges 735-5/12-1006
  Municipal employees 40-5/19-218
  Park employees 40-5/13-808
  Police officers 40-5/14-147
  Public employees 40-5/15-185
  Public library employees 40-5/16-190, 40-5/17-151
  Sanitation district employees  
  State employees  
  State university employees  
Insurance Fraternal benefit society benefits 215-5/299.1a
  Health or disability benefits 735-5/12-1001(g)(3)
  Homeowners’ proceeds if home destroyed, to $7,500 735-5/12-907
  Life insurance, annuity proceeds or cash value if beneficiary is insured’s child, parent, spouse or other dependent. 215-5/238
  Life insurance policy if beneficiary is insured’s spouse or child 735-5/12-1001(f)
  Life insurance proceeds if clause prohibits from being used to pay beneficiary’s creditors 215-5/238
  Life insurance proceeds needed for support 735-5/12-1001(f), (g)(3)
Wildcard $2,000 of any personal property 735-5/12-1001(b)
Wages Minimum 85% of earned but unpaid wages; bankruptcy judge may authorize more for low-income debtors 740-170/4
Tools of Trade Implements, books and tools of trade to $750 735-5/12-1001(d)

***Certain debts such as mortgages, deeds of trust or tax liens will not be wiped out by bankruptcy. The lender will have the right to foreclose on you if you fail to pay your certain debt obligations. ***

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