Hawaii State Bankruptcy Exemptions


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

Hawaii residents can select either the federal bankruptcy exemptions or the following state law exemptions:

651-92 Real property exempt

(a) Real property shall be exempt from attachment or execution as follows:

(1) An interest in one parcel of real property in the State of Hawaii of a fair market value not exceeding $30,000 owned by the defendant who is either the head of a family or an individual sixty-five years of age or older.

(2) An interest in one parcel of real property in the State of Hawaii of a fair market value not exceeding $20,000 owned by the defendant who is a person.

The fair market value of the interest exempted in paragraphs (1) or (2) shall be determined by appraisal and shall be an interest which is over and above all liens and encumbrances on the real property recorded prior to the lien under which attachment or execution is to be made. Not more than one exemption shall be claimed on any one parcel of real property even though more than one person residing on such real property may otherwise be entitled to an exemption.

Any claim of exemption under this section made before May 27, 1976, shall be deemed to be amended on May 27, 1976, by increasing the exemption to the amount permitted by this section on May 27, 1976, to the extent that such increase does not impair or defeat the right of any creditor who has executed upon the real property prior to May 27, 1976.

(b) No exemption authorized under this section shall apply to process arising from:

(1) A lien as provided by section 507-42;

(2) A lien or security interest created by a mortgage, security agreement, or other security instrument;

(3) A tax lien in the name of the federal or state government;

(4) An improvement district lien of any county of the State; or

(5) A lien or encumbrance recorded against the real property prior to the acquisition of interest in and commencement of residence on such real property.

651-121 Certain personal property and insurance thereon, exempt

The following described personal property of an individual up to the value set forth shall be exempt from attachment and execution as follows:

(1) All necessary household furnishings and appliances, books and wearing apparel, ordinarily and reasonably necessary to, and personally used by a debtor or the debtor's family residing with the debtor; and, in addition thereto, jewelry, watches, and items of personal adornment up to an aggregate cash value not exceeding $1,000.

(2) One motor vehicle up to a value of $2,575 over and above all liens and encumbrances on the motor vehicle; provided that the value of the motor vehicle shall be measured by established wholesale used car prices customarily found in guides used by Hawaii motor vehicle dealers; or, if not listed in such guides, fair wholesale market value, with necessary adjustment for condition.

(3) Any combination of the following: tools, implements, instruments, uniforms, furnishings, books, equipment, one commercial fishing boat and nets, one motor vehicle, and other personal property ordinarily and reasonably necessary to and personally owned and used by the debtor in the exercise of the debtor's trade, business, calling, or profession by which the debtor earns the debtor's livelihood.

(4) One parcel of land, not exceeding two hundred fifty square feet in size, niche or interment space owned, used, or occupied by any person, or by any person jointly with any other person or persons, in any graveyard, cemetery, or other place for the sole purpose of burying the dead, together with the railing or fencing enclosing the same, and all gravestones, tombstones, monuments, and other appropriate improvements thereon erected.

(5) The proceeds of insurance on, and the proceeds of the sale of, the property in this section mentioned, for the period of six months from the date the proceeds are received.

(6) The wages, salaries, commissions, and all other compensation for personal services due to the debtor for services rendered during the thirty-one days before the date of the proceeding.

651-124 Pension money exempt

The right of a debtor to a pension, annuity, retirement or disability allowance, death benefit, any optional benefit, or any other right accrued or accruing under any retirement plan or arrangement described in section 401(a), 401(k), 403(a), 403(b), 408, 409 (as in effect prior to January 1, 1984), 414(d), or 414(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, or any fund created by the plan or arrangement, shall be exempt from attachment, execution, seizure, the operation of bankruptcy or insolvency laws under 11 United States Code section 522(b), or under any legal process whatever. However, this section shall not apply to:

(1) A "qualified domestic relations order" as defined in section 206(d) of the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974, as amended, or in section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended; and

(2) Contributions made to a plan or arrangement within the three years before the date a debtor files for bankruptcy, whether voluntary or involuntary, or within three years before the date a civil action is initiated against the debtor, except for contributions to a retirement plan established by state statute if the effect would be to eliminate a state employee's retirement service credit.

652-1 Garnishee process; "garnishee fund"

(a) Before judgment. When any goods or effects of a debtor are in the possession of an attorney, agent, factor, or trustee (in this chapter jointly and severally included in the term "garnishee"), or when any debt is due from any person (also included under the term "garnishee") to a debtor, or when any person has in the person's possession for safekeeping any moneys of the debtor, any creditor may bring the creditor's action against the debtor and in the creditor's petition for process, or by amendments of the complaint at any time before judgment, after meeting the requirements of section 652-1.5, may request the court to insert in the process a direction that service of a true and attested copy thereof be made upon the garnishee in any of the manners described under section 652-2.5 and to summon the garnishee to appear personally upon the day or term appointed in the process for hearing the action or at any other time appointed by the court and then and there on oath to answer all of the following inquiries, herein inclusively referred to as the "disclosure":

(1) Whether at the time the copy was served on the garnishee, the garnishee had any of the goods or effects of the defendant in the garnishee's hands and, if so, the nature, amount and value thereof;

(2) Whether at the time of service, the garnishee was indebted to the defendant and, if so, the nature and amount of the debt; or

(3) Whether at the time of service on the garnishee, the garnishee had any moneys of the defendant in the garnishee's possession for safekeeping and, if so, the amount thereof.

The summons and direction shall be signed and issued as is usual in other civil process after proceedings under section 652-1.5. The summons shall specify an amount or value of money, debt or goods or effects to be garnished which shall not exceed one hundred twenty per cent of the amount of the plaintiff's claim, including cost and interest. The summons shall be served upon the garnishee in any of the manners described under section 652-2.5. From the time of service, the garnishee shall secure in the garnishee's hands to pay such judgment as the plaintiff shall recover in the action, such of the following property or choses then in the garnishee's possession or owing to the defendant as shall equal the amount or value specified in the summons, except what the court has expressly found to be exempt from execution pursuant to section 652-1.5(d) or (f):

(1) The goods and effects of the defendant then in the hands of the garnishee;

(2) Any debt then owing from the garnishee to the defendant;

(3) Moneys of the defendant then in the possession of the garnishee for safekeeping; and

(4) A portion of the defendant's wages, salary, stipend, commissions, annuity, or net income under a trust (in this chapter included under the term "wages"), remaining after the deduction of any amounts required by law to be withheld by withholding the amount to be determined as follows: five per cent of the first $100 per month, ten per cent of the next $100 per month, and twenty per cent of all sums in excess of $200 per month, or an equivalent portion of the above amount per week, whether then or thereafter to become owing.
The property or choses described in (1), (2), (3), and (4) of this paragraph are included under the term "garnishee fund" (in this chapter). The cumulative total value of the fund, in advance of final judgment, shall be no more than the amount specified in the summons.
Except as provided in section 652-1.5, the summons and direction shall be sufficient notice to the defendant to enable the plaintiff to bring the plaintiff's action to trial, unless the defendant is an inhabitant of the State or has some time resided therein, in which case a like copy shall be served personally upon the defendant or left at the defendant's last and usual place of abode.

The court shall order the garnishee fund released at the hearing provided in section 652-1.5 or thereafter upon the filing by the debtor with the court of a bond or bonds issued by a surety or sureties licensed to do business as such in the State, in an amount sufficient to pay the claim of the creditor together with costs and interest, and conditioned upon judgment rendered in favor of the creditor and to the extent the claim or any portion thereof, together with costs and interest, if any, is awarded.

(b) After judgment. Wages may be garnisheed after judgment at the rate specified in subsection (a). In any action brought by a creditor against a debtor, the creditor may, after judgment rendered in the creditor's favor, request the court to summon any garnishee to appear personally, upon a day appointed in the summons for hearing the cause as against the garnishee, and make full disclosure; or in any action brought in the district court by a creditor against a debtor, the creditor may, ten days after judgment rendered in the creditor's favor, file a certified copy of the judgment and the creditor's affidavit as to the amount due and unpaid on account of the judgment with the employer of the judgment debtor and the employer shall thereupon either file a disclosure within one week or shall withhold from the wages of the judgment debtor the amounts as provided herein and pay the same to the judgment creditor.

Alias summons shall also be issued and served upon the garnishee in any of the manners described under section 652-2.5. At the time of service, any and every element of any garnishee fund then in the hands of the garnishee shall be there secured to pay the judgment already recovered and may not otherwise be disposed of by the garnishee.

(c) Return by garnishee. Any garnishee summoned, whether before or after judgment, may file in the court issuing the summons, on or before the return day thereof; a return under oath containing a full disclosure. A copy of the return shall be served on the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney on or before the return day. The filing of the return shall be deemed prima facie a compliance with the summons; provided that either party to the action may, upon written notice served upon the garnishee, require the garnishee to appear and be examined under oath as to such disclosure or as to the garnishee's liability as garnishee.

(d) Garnishee fund excessive. At any time after service of summons, the court, upon the consent of the plaintiff or upon motion of the defendant or of the garnishee and notice to the plaintiff, shall determine whether the garnishee fund is excessive in amount in comparison with subsection (a) of this section or with the judgment rendered and may thereupon release the remainder thereof from being so secured.

(e) If any party named in the process as garnishee is a corporation, firm, or person having places of business in more than one judicial circuit or district in the State, the service of process upon the garnishee upon service in any one circuit or district shall operate to secure the garnishee fund in each place of business in the State.

(f) No employer shall be liable to anyone for deductions and payments to judgment creditors from wages of judgment debtor employees, as herein provided, when the employer in good faith believes, or has reason to believe, that service of the certified copy of the judgment and affidavit of the judgment creditor as provided in (b) herein affects the same.

431:10-231 Exemption of proceeds; accident and health or sickness

The proceeds of all contracts of accident and health or sickness insurance and of provisions providing benefits on account of the insured's disability which are supplemental to life insurance or annuity contracts shall be exempt from all liability for any debt of the insured, and from any debt of the beneficiary existing at the time the proceeds are made available for the beneficiary's use.

431:10-232 Exemption of proceeds; life, endowment and annuity

(a) All proceeds payable because of the death of the insured and the aggregate net cash value of any or all life and endowment policies and annuity contracts payable to a spouse of the insured, or to a child, parent or other person dependent upon the insured, whether the power to change the beneficiary is reserved to the insured or not, and whether the insured or the insured's estate is a contingent beneficiary or not, shall be exempt from execution, attachment, garnishment, or other process, for the debts or liabilities of the insured incurred subsequent to May 19, 1939, except as to premiums paid in fraud of creditors within the period limited by law for the recovery of such payments.

(b) When the terms of any life or endowment policy or annuity contract require that the proceeds thereof be retained by the insurer upon the death of the insured, or other maturity of the policy or contract, for payment to any beneficiary other than the insured in accordance with a settlement plan selected by the insured, the beneficiary shall have no right or power, nor shall the beneficiary be permitted by any insurer, to commute, encumber, assign, or otherwise anticipate the beneficiary's interests under the plan if the right or power is expressly denied the beneficiary by the terms of the contract or policy. If the beneficiary under the settlement plan is or was the spouse of the insured, or a child, parent or other person dependent upon the insured, the beneficiary's interests thereunder, in any case, shall be exempt from execution, attachment, garnishment, or other process for the beneficiary's debts or liabilities incurred after December 31, 1955.

(c) This section does not apply to group life insurance.

431:10-233 Exemption of proceeds; group life

(a) A policy of group life insurance or the proceeds thereof payable to the individual insured or to the beneficiary thereunder, shall not be liable, either before or after payment, to be applied to any legal or equitable process to pay any liability of any person having a right under the policy. The proceeds of the policy, when not made payable to a named beneficiary or to a third person pursuant to a facility-of-payment clause, shall not constitute a part of the estate of the individual insured for the payment of the insured's debts.

(b) This section shall not apply to group life insurance policies issued under section 431:10D-203 to the extent that the proceeds are applied to payment of the obligation for the purpose of which the insurance was so issued.

386-57 Legal status of right to compensation and compensation payments

(a) The right to compensation under this chapter shall not be assignable, and the right to compensation and compensation payments received shall be exempt from the reach of creditors.

(b) The right to compensation under this chapter shall have the same status as a lien or the same priority for the whole thereof with respect to the assets of the employer as are accorded by law to any unpaid wages for labor.

383-163 No assignment of benefits; waiver

No assignment, pledge, or encumbrance of any right to benefits which are or may become due or payable under this chapter shall be valid and the right to benefits shall not be subject to levy, execution, attachment, garnishment, or any other remedy for the collection of debt. No waiver of this section shall be valid, except that this section shall not apply to:

(1) Section 383-163.5 with respect to the withholding and deduction of benefits for the payment of child support obligations;

(2) Section 383-163.6 with respect to the voluntary withholding and deduction of benefits for payment of federal and state income taxes; and

(3) Section 383-163.7 with respect to the withholding and deduction of benefits for repayment of uncollected overissuances of food stamp coupons.

346-33 Assistance payments inalienable

Assistance payments and compensation paid by the department of human services to blind persons and other persons for work performed in their homes or in workshops shall be inalienable by any assignment, sale, attachment, garnishment, execution, or otherwise.

353-22 Earnings exempt from garnishment, etc

No moneys earned by a committed person and held by the department, to any amount whatsoever, shall be subject to.

WP Solutions, Inc is a BBB Accredited Legal Information Service in Chicago, IL
WP Solutions, Inc is a BBB Accredited Legal Information Service in Chicago, IL

Free Evaluation Form

Free Legal Evaluation

 
Why are you considering bankruptcy? (select all that apply):
Estimate Total Debt:
1 of 5 steps
 
What bills do you have?
Estimate Total Monthly Expenses:
2 of 5 steps
 
What types of assets do you own?
Do you own real estate?
If Yes, are you behind in these payments?
Do you own an automobile?
If Yes, are you behind in these payments?
Do you have any additional assets worth more than $100,000?
If Yes, please describe:
3 of 5 steps
 
What types of income do you have?
Estimate Total Monthly Income:
4 of 5 steps
 
Contact Information:
First Name* :
Last* :
Home Phone* :
-
-
Work Phone:
-
-
Cell Phone:
-
-
Email* :
Zip* :
5 of 5 steps