West Virginia State Bankruptcy Exemptions


§ 38-8-1 Exemptions of personal property

(a) Any individual residing in this state or the dependent of such individual may set apart and hold as exempt from execution or other process the following personal property:

(1) Such individual's interest, not to exceed five thousand dollars in value, in one motor vehicle;

(2) Such individual's interest, not to exceed eight thousand dollars in aggregate value, in household goods, furniture, toys, animals, appliances, books and wearing apparel that are held primarily for the personal, family or household use of such individual;

(3) Such individual's aggregate interest, not to exceed three thousand dollars, in any implements, professional books or tools of such individual's trade;

(4) Such individual's funds on deposit in a federally insured financial institution, wages or salary, not to exceed the greater of: (i) One thousand dollars; or (ii) one hundred twenty-five percent of the amount of the annualized federal poverty level of such individual's household divided by the number of pay periods for such individual per year; and

(5) Funds on deposit in an individual retirement account (IRA), including a simplified employee pension (SEP), in the name of such individual: Provided, That the amount is exempt only to the extent it is not or has not been subject to an excise or other tax on excess contributions under Section 4973 [26 USCS § 4973] or Section 4979 [26 USCS § 4979] of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or both sections, or any successor provisions, regardless of whether the tax is or has been paid.

(b) Notwithstanding the foregoing, in no case may an individual residing in this state or the dependent of such individual exempt from execution or other process more than fifteen thousand dollars in the aggregate in personal property listed in subdivisions (1), (2), (3) and (4), subsection (a) of this section.

§ 38-9-1 Persons entitled to homestead; value

Any husband, wife, parent or other head of a household residing in this State, or the infant children of deceased or insane parents, owning a homestead shall by operation of law have a homestead exemption therein to the value of five thousand dollars, subject to the provisions of section 48, article VI of the Constitution of this State.

§ 38-10-4 Exemptions of property in bankruptcy proceedings

Pursuant to the provisions of 11 U. S. C. § 522(b) (1), this state specifically does not authorize debtors who are domiciled in this state to exempt the property specified under the provisions of 11 U. S. C. § 522(d).

Any person who files a petition under the federal bankruptcy law may exempt from property of the estate in a bankruptcy proceeding the following property:

(a) The debtor's interest, not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars in value, in real property or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, in a cooperative that owns property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence or in a burial plot for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor: Provided, That when the debtor is a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state under article three [§§ 30-3-1 et seq.] or article fourteen [§§ 30-14-1 et seq.], chapter thirty of this code, and has commenced a bankruptcy proceeding in part due to a verdict or judgment entered in a medical professional liability action, if the physician has current medical malpractice insurance in the amount of at least one million dollars for each occurrence, the debtor physician's interest that is exempt under this subsection may exceed twenty-five thousand dollars in value but may not exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars per household.

(b) The debtor's interest, not to exceed two thousand four hundred dollars in value, in one motor vehicle.

(c) The debtor's interest, not to exceed four hundred dollars in value in any particular item, in household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops or musical instruments that are held primarily for the personal, family or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor: Provided, That the total amount of personal property exempted under this subsection may not exceed eight thousand dollars.

(d) The debtor's interest, not to exceed one thousand dollars in value, in jewelry held primarily for the personal, family or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.

(e) The debtor's interest, not to exceed in value eight hundred dollars plus any unused amount of the exemption provided under subsection (a) of this section in any property.

(f) The debtor's interest, not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars in value, in any implements, professional books or tools of the trade of the debtor or the trade of a dependent of the debtor.

(g) Any unmeasured life insurance contract owned by the debtor, other than a credit life insurance contract.

(h) The debtor's interest, not to exceed in value eight thousand dollars less any amount of property of the estate transferred in the manner specified in 11 U. S. C. § 542(d), in any accrued dividend or interest under, or loan value of, any unmeasured life insurance contract owned by the debtor under which the insured is the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent.

(i) Professionally prescribed health aids for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.

(j) The debtor's right to receive:

(1) A social security benefit, unemployment compensation or a local public assistance benefit;

(2) A veterans' benefit;

(3) A disability, illness or unemployment benefit;

(4) Alimony, support or separate maintenance, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;

(5) A payment under a stock bonus, pension, profit sharing, annuity or similar plan or contract on account of illness, disability, death, age or length of service, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor, and funds on deposit in an individual retirement account (IRA), including a simplified employee pension (SEP) regardless of the amount of funds, unless:

(A) The plan or contract was established by or under the auspices of an insider that employed the debtor at the time the debtor's rights under the plan or contract arose;

(B) The payment is on account of age or length of service;

(C) The plan or contract does not qualify under Section 401(a), 403(a), 403(b), 408 or 409 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and

(D) With respect to an individual retirement account, including a simplified employee pension, the amount is subject to the excise tax on excess contributions under Section 4973 and/or Section 4979 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any successor provisions, regardless of whether the tax is paid.

(k) The debtor's right to receive or property that is traceable to:

(1) An award under a crime victim's reparation law;

(2) A payment on account of the wrongful death of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;

(3) A payment under a life insurance contract that insured the life of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent on the date of the individual's death, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;

(4) A payment, not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars on account of personal bodily injury, not including pain and suffering or compensation for actual pecuniary loss, of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent;

(5) A payment in compensation of loss of future earnings of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is or was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;

(6) Payments made to the prepaid tuition trust fund or to the savings plan trust fund, including earnings, in accordance with article thirty [§§ 18-30-1 et seq.], chapter eighteen of this code on behalf of any beneficiary.

§ 38-8-14 Unripe crops exempt; exception as to corn

No crop shall be liable to distress or levy until it is mature, or has been severed from the soil, except that Indian corn may be taken at any time after the fifteenth day of October of the year when it was planted.

§ 33-6-27 Life insurance proceeds exempt from creditors

(a) If a policy of insurance, whether heretofore or hereafter issued, is effected by any person on his own life or on another life, in favor of a person other than himself, or, except in cases of transfer with intent to defraud creditors, if a policy of life insurance is assigned or in any way made payable to any such person, the lawful beneficiary or assignee thereof, other than the insured or the person so effecting such insurance or executors or administrators of such insured or the person so effecting such insurance, shall be entitled to its proceeds and avails against the creditors and representatives of the insured and of the person effecting the same, whether or not the right to change the beneficiary is reserved or permitted, and whether or not the policy is made payable to the person whose life is insured if the beneficiary or assignee shall predecease such person.

(b) Subject to the statute of limitations, the amount of any premiums for such insurance paid in fraud of creditors, with interest thereon, shall inure to their benefit from the proceeds of the policy, but the insurer issuing the policy shall be discharged of all liability thereon by payment of the proceeds in accordance with its terms, unless before such payment the insurer received written notice by or in behalf of some creditor, with specification of the amount claimed, claiming to recover for certain premiums paid in fraud of creditors.

(c) For the purposes of subsection (a), above, a policy shall also be deemed to be payable to a person other than the insured if and to the extent that a facility-of-payment clause or similar clause in the policy permits the insurer to discharge its obligations after the death of the individual insured by paying the death benefits to a person as permitted by such clause.

§ 33-6-28 Group life insurance proceeds exempt from creditors

(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 by any legal or equitable process to pay any liability of any person having a right under the policy.

(b) This section shall not apply to group life insurance issued to a creditor covering his debtors, to the extent that such proceeds are applied to payment of the obligation for the purpose for which the insurance was so issued.

§ 33-23-21 Benefits not liable to process

No money or other benefit, charity, relief or aid to be paid, provided or rendered by any society, shall be liable to attachment, garnishment or other process, or to be seized, taken, appropriated or applied by any legal or equitable process or operation of law to pay any debt or liability of a member or beneficiary, or any other person who may have a right thereunder, either before or after payment by the society.

§ 23-4-18 Mode of paying benefits generally; exemptions of compensation from legal process

Except as provided by this section, compensation shall be paid only to the employees or their dependents and is exempt from all claims of creditors and from any attachment, execution or assignment other than compensation to counsel for legal services, under the provisions of, and subject to the limitations contained in section sixteen [§ 23-5-16], article five of this chapter, and other than for the enforcement of orders for child or spousal support entered pursuant to the provisions of chapter forty-eight [§§ 48-1-101 et seq.] of this code. Payments may be made in the periodic installments determined by the commission in each case, but in no event less frequently than semimonthly for any temporary award and monthly for any permanent award. Payments for permanent disability shall be paid on or before the third day of the month in which they are due. In all cases where compensation is awarded or increased, the amount of compensation shall be calculated and paid from the date of disability.

§ 21A-10-2 Assignment of benefits invalid; exemption from process; exception

(a) An assignment, pledge or encumbrance of any benefit due or payable under this chapter is invalid. Right to benefits is exempt from levy, execution, attachment or other processes for the collection of debt. Benefits received by an individual so long as they are not mingled with other funds of the recipient, are exempt from process for the collection of a debt. The waiver of any exemption provided in this section is void.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply to:

(1) The assignment or collection of child support payments under the provisions of section sixteen [§ 21A-6-16], article six of this chapter;

(2) A levy by the internal revenue service authorized by 26 U.S.C. § 6331 subsection (h); or

(3) Collection of debts incurred for necessaries furnished to an individual, the individual's spouse or dependents, during a period of unemployment.

§ 9-5-1 Exemption of grants from certain taxes and claims

Grants of all classes of welfare assistance received under the provisions of this chapter shall be exempted from the collection of taxes except sales taxes, from levy of execution, garnishment, suggestion, and any other legal process.

§ 51-9-14 Moneys exempt from execution, etc.; unassignable and nontransferable; exception for certain domestic relations orders

The moneys in the judges' retirement fund, the right of any judge to participate in the pay and benefits of the retirement system and the right of any judge to a refund of payments or contributions made to the fund shall not be subject to execution, garnishment, attachment or any other process whatsoever except that the benefits or contributions under this system shall be subject to "qualified domestic relations orders" as that term is defined in Section 414(p) [26 USCS § 414(p)] of the Internal Revenue Code with respect to governmental plans; and shall be unassignable and nontransferable.

§ 5-10-46 Right to benefits not subject to execution, etc.; assignments prohibited; deductions for group insurance; setoffs for fraud; exception for certain domestic relations orders

The right of a person to any benefit provided for in this article shall not be subject to execution, attachment, garnishment, the operation of bankruptcy or insolvency laws, or other process whatsoever, nor shall any assignment thereof be enforceable in any court except that the benefits or contributions under this system shall be subject to "qualified domestic relations orders" as that term is defined in Section 414(p) [26 USCS § 414(p)] of the Internal Revenue Code as applicable to governmental plans: Provided, That should a member be covered by a group insurance or prepayment plan participated in by a participating public employer, and should he or she be permitted to, and elect to, continue such coverage as a retirant, he or she may authorize the board of trustees to have deducted from his or her annuity the payments required of him or her to continue coverage under such group insurance or prepayment plan: Provided, however, That a participating public employer shall have the right of setoff for any claim arising from embezzlement by, or fraud of, a member, retirant or beneficiary.

§ 18-7A-30 Exemption from taxation, garnishment and other process; exception for qualified domestic relations order

The moneys in the various funds and the right of a member to a retirement allowance, to the return of contributions, or to any benefit under the provisions of this article, are hereby exempt from municipal tax; shall not be subject to execution, garnishment, attachment or any other process whatsoever except that any benefits or contributions under this system shall be subject to "qualified domestic relations orders" as that term is defined in Section 414(p) [26 USCS § 414(p)] of the Internal Revenue Code with respect to governmental plans; and shall be unassignable except as is provided in this article.

§ 47B-2-3 Partnership property

Property acquired by a partnership is property of the partnership and not of the partners individually.

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