Real Property Exemptions:

Texas Property Code § 41.002(a). An urban homestead may be used as a home and business. The size of an urban homestead is the same for families or single adults: it may consist of up to ten acres on one or more contiguous lots, including any improvements on the land. Texas

Property Code § 41.002(a). A rural homestead for a family is limited to 200 acres and includes any improvements on the land. A rural homestead for a single person is limited to 100 acres and any improvements on the land. Texas Property Code § 41.002(b).

Encumbrances on Homesteads
Although homesteads are generally exempt from creditors’ claims, they are subject to certain liens. The most common liens to which homesteads are subject are: (1) a lien for purchase money; (2) a lien for taxes due on the property; and (3) a lien for work and materials furnished in building improvements on the property, but only if the work and labor were furnished pursuant to a written contract. Texas Property Code § 41.001(b).

Proceeds from the Sale of a Homestead
If a person sells the homestead, the proceeds from the sale are exempt for six months after the sale. Texas Property Code § 41.001(c).

Personal Property Exemptions

Chapter 42 of the Property Code contains two different types of exemptions for personal property: (1) an "aggregate" exemption for certain kinds of personal property, limited by the combined value of the property; and (2) unlimited exemptions for other kinds of personal property.

Aggregate Exemptions Authorized by Sections 42.001(a) Under section 42.001(a) of the Texas Property Code, families and single adults may exempt certain kinds of personal property from the claims of creditors as long as the combined fair market value of the property does not exceed:

  1. $60,000 for a family; or
  2. $30,000 for a single adult.

Generally, a debtor may pick and choose what particular items of property to include within the aggregate exemption as long as the items fall within the specified categories and the total value of the property does not exceed the $60,000 or $30,000 cap. If the combined value of the items in the different categories exceeds the value cap, the debtor must designate which items to exempt. Texas

Property Code §42.002a

  1. home furnishings and family heirlooms;
  2. provisions for consumption;
  3. farming or ranching vehicles and implements;
  4. tools, equipment, books and apparatus, including boats and motor vehicles, used in a trade or profession;
  5. clothes;
  6. jewelry, as long as it does not exceeds 25% of the value of the aggregate exemption;
  7. two firearms;
  8. athletic and sporting equipment, including bicycles;
  9. a motor vehicle for each member of a family or single adult who (A) holds a driver’s license or (B) does not hold a drivers license butrelies on another person to operate the vehicle for the unlicensed person;
  10. the following animals, including forage on hand for their
  11. consumption: (A) horses, mules, or donkeys, including a saddle ,
    blanket and bridle for each one; (B) 12 head of cattle; (C) 60 head
    of other types of livestock; and (D) 120 fowl

  12. household pets;

In addition to the kinds of personal property listed in section 42.002(a), a debtor may also include within the aggregate exemption unpaid commissions for personal services as long as the amount does not exceed 25% of the value cap. Texas Property Code § 42.001(d).

"Commissions for personal services" are compensation owed to an
employee. They do not include compensation owed to independent
contractors.

Unlimited Exemptions under Property Code Section 42.001(b)

In addition to the kinds of personal property that may be exempted under the
aggregate exemption of section 42.001 (a), a debtor may also exempt, without
regard to value, the following kind of property:

  1. current wages for personal services;
  2. professionally prescribed health aids of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; and
  3. alimony, support, or separate maintenance received or to be received by the debtor for the debtor’s support or a dependent of the debtor.

"Current wages" are wages owed to an employee. Once the wages have been
paid to the employee, they are not "current wages" for purposes of section
42.001(a) and they are no longer exempt
.
Retirement Plans under Section 42.0021
In addition to the exemptions under sections 42,001 and 42.002, a debtor is
entitled to an exemption for his rights in a variety of retirement plans. Texas
Property Code § 42.0021(a). The exemption includes the debtor’s right to
payments under, or the right to assets held in, the following types of plans.

  1. stock bonus, pension, profit-sharing plans, and similar plans, including retirement plans for self-employed individuals;
  2. annuities purchased with assets distributed from such plans;
  3. retirement annuities or accounts described in section 403(B) or 408A of the IRS Code
  4. individual retirement accounts or annuities, including a simplified employee pension plan; and
  5. government or church plans or contracts that qualify under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

When a debtor receives distributions from these plans, the distributions are
exempt from seizure for 60 days if the distributions qualify as a nontaxable
rollover contribution. Texas Property Code § 42.0021(c).

Limitations to the Exemptions under Sections 42.001 and 42.002.
The exemptions in sections 42.001, 42.002, and 42.021 are subject to a
contractual landlord’s lien or other security interest in the property. Texas
Property Code § 42.001.

Limitations to the Exemptions under Sections 42.001, 42.002 and 42.0021
The exemptions in Chapter 42.001, 42.002, and 42.0021 are subject to a lien for
child support. Texas Property Code § 42.005.

Exemption for College Savings Plan
A debtor is entitled to an exemption for college savings plans authorized under
the following statutes: (1) any plan established by Subchapter F of Chapter 54 of
the Education Code; (2) any plan established by Subchapter G of Chapter 54 of
the Education Code; and (3) any qualified state tuition plan that satisfies the
requirements of section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. Texas Property Code
§ 42.0022.

Public Employee Benefit Programs: Municipal Employees
Texas Municipal Retirement System. Texas Government Code § 851.006
Municipal Retirement System in Municipalities of 460,000 to 500,000.
Texas Revised Civil Statutes art. 6243n § 11(d). Municipal Pension System in cities over 1,500,000.Texas Revised Civil Statutes art. 6243h § 220.

Public Employee Benefit Programs: County Employees
Texas County and District Retirement System. Texas Government Code § 841.006.

Public Employee Benefit Programs: State Employees
Employees Retirement System of Texas. Texas Government Code art. 3.50-2 § 10. Texas Employees Uniform Group Insurance Benefits Act. Texas Insurance Code § 1550.011

Public Employee Benefit Programs: Education System Employees
Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Texas Government Code § 821.005. Texas Public School Retired Employees Group Benefits. Texas Insurance Code art. 1575.006. State University Employees Uniform Insurance Benefits Act. Texas Insurance Code § 1601.008.

Public Employee Benefit Programs: Judicial System Employees
Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan One. Texas Government Code § 831.004. Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan Two. Texas Government Code § 836.004.

Public Employee Benefit Programs: Police Officers and Fire Fighters
Police Officers’ Pension System in Cities of 50,000 to 400,000 Populations. Texas Revised Civil Statues art. 6243j § 20. Police Officers Pension System in Certain Municipalities. Texas Revised Civil Statutes art. 6243g-4 § 28. Policemen’s Relief and Retirement Fund. Texas Revised Civil Statutes art. 6243d-1 § 17. Firefighters Relief and Retirement Fund in Cities of 450,000 to 500,000. Texas Revised Civil Statutes art. 6243e.1 § 1.04. Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement fund in Municipalities of at least 1,600,000 Population. Texas Revised Civil Statutes art. 6243e.2(1) § 15. Texas Local Fire Fighters Retirement Act. Texas Revised Civil Statutes art. 6243e § 5. Pension System for Police Officers and Firefighters in Certain Cities. Texas Revised Civil Statutes art. 6243a-1 § 8.03. Police and Firefighter Retirement System in Municipalities of 750,000 to 1,000,000. Texas Revised Civil Statues art. 6243o § 1.05. Retirement Health Trust for Firefighters and Police Officers. Texas Revised Civil Statues art. 6243q § 1.05.

Humanitarian Exemptions
Financial Assistance to Survivors of Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters. Texas Government Code § 615.005. Financial Assistance and Service Programs (Aid to
Families with Dependent Children). Texas Human Resources Code § 31.040.
Medical Assistance Program. Texas Human Resources Code § 32.036. Crime Victims Compensation Act. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure art. 56.49 Workers’ compensation Benefits. Te xas Labor Code § 408.201. Unemployment Benefits. Texas Labor Code §
207.075. Benefits Provided by Fraternal Benefit Societies. Texas Insurance Code § 885.316. Church Benefit Plans. Texas Revised Civil Statutes art. 1407a § 6. Exemptions for Certain Insurance and Annuity Benefits. Texas Insurance Code § 1108.51.

 

 

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