Wyoming Exemptions

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What is an exemption?

Bankruptcy exemptions are the state and federal laws that specify which type of property creditors are not entitled to take to satisfy a debt. Additionally, the bankruptcy trustee is not entitled to take exempt property and sell it for the benefit of the debtor's unsecured creditors. Generally, exempt property is the property that you get too keep during and after the bankruptcy. Your other property (nonexempt property) is the property that the trustee takes and sells to create the funds for your creditors. It is in a debtor's best interest to maximize their exempt property.

What are Wyoming's Exemptions?

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are not allowed in Wyoming. So all the applicable exemptions come from Wyoming's state laws. Here is a break down of all the types of exemptions afforded to Wyoming citizens claiming bankruptcy in Wyoming. After each brief explanation of the exemption benefit I have cited to the Wyoming Statute or case law that defined the exemption in the parenthesis.

Homestead

  • Property held as tenancy by the entirety can be exempt against debts owed by only one spouse (In re Anselmi, 52B.R. 479 D.WY. 1985)
  • Real Property or a trailer house you occupy to $20,000.00 (1-20-101;102;104) this can be doubled to $40,000.00 if a married couple is filing jointly
  • Spouse or child of deceased owner can claim homestead exemption (1-20-103)

Insurance

  • Annuities that pay out up to $350.00 per month (26-15-132)
  • Disability benefits if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay a beneficiary's creditors (26-15-130)
  • Fraternal benefit society benefits (26-29-218)
  • Group life or disability policy or proceeds, cash surrender & loan values, premiums waived & dividends (26-15-131)
  • Individual life insurance policy proceeds, cash surrender & loan values, premiums waived & dividends (26-15-129)
  • Life insurance proceeds held by insurer, if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary's creditors (26-15-133)

Liquor Licenses

  • Liquor licenses & malt beverage permits (12-4-604)

Pensions

  • Tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans,SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined benefit-plans (11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C)
  • Traditional and Roth IRAs to $1,362,800 per person (11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C);(n))
  • Criminal investigators, highway officers (9-3-620)
  • Firefighter's death benefits (15-5-209)
  • Game and Fish Wardens (9-3-620)
  • Police Officers (15-5-313(c))
  • Private or Public retirement funds & accounts including IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs (1-20-110)
  • Public Employees (9-3-426)

Personal Property

  • Bedding, furniture, household articles & food to $4,000.00 per person in the home (1-20-106(a)(iii))
  • Bible, school books and pictures (1-20-106(a)(i))
  • Burial Plot (1-20-106(a)(ii))
  • Clothing and wedding rings up to $2,000.00 (1-20-105)
  • Medical savings account contribution (1-20-111)
  • Motor vehicle to $5,000.00 (1-20-106(a)(iv))
  • Three (3) firearms and ammunition (1,000 rounds per firearm) up to $3,000.00 (1-20-106(a)(v))
  • Prepaid funeral contracts (26-32-102)

Public Benefits

  • Crime victim's compensation (1-40-113)
  • General assistance (42-2-113(b))
  • Unemployment compensation (27-3-319)
  • Workers' compensation (27-14-702)

Tools of Trade

  • Library & implements of profession up to $4,000.00 or tool, motor vehicle, implements, team & stock in trade up to $4,000.00

Wages

  • Earnings of National Guard members (19-9-401)
  • Minimum 75% of disposable weekly earnings or 30 times the federal hourly minimum wage, whichever is more (1-15-511; 1-15-408; 40-14-505)
  • Wages of inmates in adult community corrections programs (7-18-114)
  • Wages of inmates in correctional industries program (25-13-107)
  • Wages of inmates on work release (7-16-308)

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