Delaware State Bankruptcy Exemptions


Delaware Code Annotated

Updated with current exemption law data as of 2/21/06

4914. Exemptions in bankruptcy and insolvency

(a) In accordance with 522(b) of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 (11 U.S.C. 522(b)), in any bankruptcy proceeding, an individual debtor domiciled in Delaware is not authorized or entitled to elect the federal exemptions as set forth in 522(d) of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 (11 U.S.C. 522(d)) and may exempt only that property from the estate as set forth in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) In any federal bankruptcy or state insolvency proceeding, an individual debtor domiciled in Delaware shall be authorized to exempt from the bankruptcy or insolvency estate, in addition to the exemptions made in this subsection and in 4915 of this title, property having an aggregate fair market value of not more than $ 25,000.

(c) In any federal bankruptcy or state insolvency proceeding, an individual debtor and/or such individual's spouse domiciled in Delaware shall be authorized to exempt from the bankruptcy or insolvency estate, in addition to the exemptions made in subsection (b) hereof and in 4915 of this title, the following:

(1) Equity in real property or equity in a manufactured home (as defined in Chapter 70 of Title 25) which constitutes a debtors principal residence in an aggregate amount not to exceed $ 50,000, and

(2) A vehicle and/or tools of the trade necessary for purposes of employment in an amount not to exceed $ 15,000 each.

(d) This section shall apply separately with respect to each debtor in a joint case but not to exceed $ 25,000 each in value in personal property, a total not to exceed $ 50,000 in value in a principal residence in an individual or a joint case, and $ 15,000 each in subsection (c) of this section vehicle and $ 15,000 each in subsection (c) of this section tools of the trade.

4915. Exemption of retirement plans

(a) In addition to the exemptions provided in 4902 and 4903 of this title, there shall be exempt from execution or attachment process assets held or amounts payable under any retirement plan.

(b) Any amount qualifying as an "eligible rollover distribution" under 402 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. 402], as amended, or as a "rollover contribution" under 408 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. 408], as amended, is treated as an exempt amount under subsection (a) of this section for 60 days after the distribution of such amount. Such amount remains exempt from execution or attachment process if contributed to a retirement plan within 60 days of being distributed from a retirement plan.

(c) Any retirement plan described in subsection (a) of this section shall not be exempt from any claims for relief granted pursuant to Chapter 5 and/or Chapter 15 of Title 13.

(d) Any retirement plan described in subsection (a) of this section shall not be exempt from the claims of an alternate payee under a qualified domestic relations order. However, the interest of any and all alternate payees under a qualified domestic relations order shall be exempt from any and all claims of any creditor of the alternate payee. As used in this subsection, the terms "alternate payee" and "qualified domestic relations order" have the meaning ascribed to them in 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. 414(p)], as amended.

(e) A participant or beneficiary of a retirement plan is not prohibited from granting a valid and enforceable security interest in the participant's or beneficiary's interest under the retirement plan to secure a loan to the participant or beneficiary from the plan, and the right to assets held in or to receive payments from the plan is subject to execution and attachment for the satisfaction of the security interest or lien granted by the participant or beneficiary to secure the loan.

(f) "Retirement plan" means any retirement or profit sharing plan that is qualified under 401, 403, 408, 408A, 409, 414 or 457 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. 401, 403, 408, 408A, 409, 414 or 457], as amended.

(g) This section shall not exempt from execution or attachment any judgment obtained under 554 of Title 30.

(h) If this section is held invalid or preempted by federal law, in whole or in part, it shall remain in effect to the maximum extent permitted by law.

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