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Understanding Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions

Many of the Salem clients who come to us here at The Law Office of Paul Petrillo seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection worry that they could potentially lose everything. If you are considering filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should know that the law has provisions which will allow you to retain the items needed to continue to support yourself and your family. Understanding New Hampshire’s bankruptcy exemption policy may help you in deciding whether or not a Chapter 7 will be able to provide you with the sort of debt relief that you need.

Before examining what types of personal property fall under the state’s exemption guidelines, you should know that New Hampshire does allow you the opportunity to choose whether to follow its policy or that of the federal government. The federal exemption guidelines can be found online relatively easily. You are encouraged to review those and carefully decide which will offer you the most benefit.

The state Homestead Exemption can be found in Title XLIX, Chapter 480 of the New Hampshire state statutes. This specifically addresses the amount of ownership in your home that you are allowed to claim as exempt. In terms of personal property, state guidelines list those exemptions as follows:

  •          One car up to $4,000 in value.  
  •          Occupational tools up to $5,000 in value.
  •          Furniture up to $3,500 in value.
  •          Jewelry up to $500 in value.
  •          Fuel and provisions up to $400 in value.
  •          Household necessities such as beds, clothes, books, appliances, cookware, and a computer.

Special provisions are also in place that allow you to exempt the value of religious books, military regalia, and livestock.

You can find more information in protection provided by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy by browsing through our site.


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Whether you have a family law issue, an estate planning question or are considering bankruptcy, I can help you find a sustainable solution that provides relief and hope. Schedule your consultation at my Nashua, New Hampshire office today by calling 603-635-4149 or by sending us an email.

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