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Texas Asset Protection Laws

Filed under Asset Protection Strategies. Fact checked on April 22, 2012.

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These assets are exempted from a state court or bankruptcy proceeding in Texas.

Homestead: Unlimited. However, property cannot exceed 1 acre in town, village or city, or 100 acres (200 acres for families) elsewhere. Sale proceeds exempt for 6 months after sale. Debtor need not occupy homestead if debtor does not acquire another home. May file a homestead declaration.

Pensions and Retirement Benefits: ERISA-qualified government or church benefits. Funds exempt for county and district employees, firefighters, judges (Keoghs to extent tax-deferred), law enforcement officers' survivors, municipal employees, police officers, state employees and teachers. IRA exemptions for conventional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE plans. Roth IRAs and regular IRAs up to $1,245,000 per person.

Insurance: Life, health, accident or annuity benefits or monies, including policy proceeds and cash values to be paid or rendered to beneficiary or insured. Life insurance present value if beneficiary is debtor or debtor's dependent. Retired public school employees' group insurance. Texas employee uniform group insurance. Texas state college or university employee benefits. Fraternal society benefits. Church plan benefits.

Personal Property: Athletic and sporting equipment, including bicycles. 2 firearms. Home property furnishings, including family heirlooms. Food. Clothing. Jewelry (not to exceed 25% of total exemptions). One two-, three- or four-wheeled motor vehicle per member of family or single adult who holds a driver's license, or who operates vehicle for someone else who does not have a license. 2 horses, mules or donkeys and a saddle, blanket and bridle for each; 12 head of cattle; 60 head of other types of livestock; 120 fowl and pets all up to $30,000 total ($60,000 for head of family). Burial plots. Health aids. $30,000/$60,000 total is reduced by exemptions claimed for tools of trade, unpaid commissions and life insurance cash value.

Tools of Trade: Tools, equipment, apparatus (including boat), motor vehicles, and books used in trade. Farming and ranching implements.

Miscellaneous: Business partnership property.

Wages: Earned but unpaid wages; unpaid commissions up to 75%.

Public Benefits: Unemployment compensation. Workers' compensation. AFDC. Crime victim's compensation. Medical assistance.

Wild Card: None.

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