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Maryland Bankruptcy Exemptions

In Maryland, you can keep certain property even if you file for bankruptcy. This property is called "exempt".

Items used in your trade or profession up to $5,000

This exemption protects your work clothing (such as uniforms), books, tools, instruments or appliances used in your work. It does not include work-related items that you sell or trade. It does not protect a motor vehicle used for your work.

Money Payable in the Event of Sickness, Accident, Injury or Death

This exemption protects money you receive from judgments, arbitration, insurance, benefits and compensation. It also includes money paid to you for loss of future earnings. You may protect money received for personal injury to you, including money you receive for mental injury caused by sexual harassment. However, this exemption is only for personal injury compensation. It does not include money you receive for injuries to your property. If you receive money for unfair wages in a sexual harassment case, this part of the compensation is not protected from creditors. Also this exemption does not include disability income benefits that you receive for necessities that you contract for after your disability started. There is no limit on the money you can protect under this exemption.

Professionally Prescribed Health Aids

This exemption protects not only your health aids but also health aids that belong to your dependents. There is no limit on the value of the items protected under this exemption.

Household furnishings and goods up to $1000

This exemption protects appliances, books, furniture, clothing, stereo equipment and even pets that belong to you or your dependents. It is unclear if firearms can be protected. This exemption applies to anything used in or around the house used to maintain the house or in your day-to-day living.

$6,000 in any cash or property

Once a sheriff attaches or places a levy against your property, you must notify the court within 30 days to claim your exemption.

Your share in a qualified retirement plan


This exemption can protect a certain amount of the value of your home, but see the law below for exceptions.  The specific amount changes periodically.  In June 2017, the amount was approximately $23,000.

Read the law: MD Code Courts & Jud. Proc. §11-504


Edited by Louise Carwell, Esq.; updated by Jillian Chasen and Amy Hennen, Esq., Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

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