Illinois Bankruptcy Exemptions 2020

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Written by Upsolve Team.  
Updated September 30, 2020

In a Nutshell

It's important to understand what the exemptions for Illinois are and how they're most often used in a bankruptcy case.

How Do Exemptions Work?

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one of the biggest questions is whether or not you will be able to keep your property.

That depends on which property exemptions you can use on your bankruptcy forms. They are called exemptions because they “exempt” -- or “excuse” -- certain property from being taken. In most cases, exemptions protect most day-to-day items that you own, unless you have expensive property like a house or a car.

Certain exemptions protect entire categories of property like retirements accounts, regardless of value. Other exemptions only protect specific property like a vehicle up to a certain value.

If you're looking for a deep understanding of bankruptcy exemptions, read this article.

Does Illinois allow federal exemptions?

Illinois does not recognize the federal exemptions.

Every state has its own set of property exemptions. And some states also allow you choose between their exemptions and a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions. When they do, they will generally let you to choose the system that is the best fit for you. Although some states allow you to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions, others do not.

Illinois Exemptions

11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C)

Most people use 11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C) to cover tax exempt retirement accounts. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

5 U.S.C. §§ 8437(e)(g), 11 U.S.C. § 541(c)(2)

Most people use 5 U.S.C. §§ 8437(e)(g), 11 U.S.C. § 541(c)(2) to cover thrift savings plan. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (c)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (c) to cover motor vehicle (one). For single debtors filing, it has a coverage limit of $2,400. This exemption has a limit to the number of assets it can cover.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (a)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (a) to cover schoolbooks, family pictures, clothing, wearing apparel. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (e)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (e) to cover health aids. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

110 Ill. Comp. Stat. 979/45 (g)

Most people use 110 Ill. Comp. Stat. 979/45 (g) to cover prepaid tuition trust fund. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (j)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (j) to cover illinois college savings pool account. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/22-230

Most people use 40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/22-230 to cover firefighters disability. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-217 (a); 40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/8-244

Most people use 40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-217 (a); 40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/8-244 to cover municipal employees. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-135 40; Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-213

Most people use 40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-135 40; Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-213 to cover firefighters pension. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-704

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-704 to cover retirement and pension benefits. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/18-161

Most people use 40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/18-161 to cover judges pensions. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/19-117

Most people use 40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/19-117 to cover house of corrections employee pension. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-154

Most people use 40 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-154 to cover general assembly members pension. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-1403

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-1403 to cover property held in trust by debtor. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

625 Ill. Comp. Stat. 45/3A-7(d)

Most people use 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. 45/3A-7(d) to cover title certificate for boat. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

625 Ill. Comp. Stat. 45/3A-7(d)

Most people use 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. 45/3A-7(d) to cover liquor permit. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (g)(4)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (g)(4) to cover alimony child support. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (g)(1)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (g)(1) to cover public assistance (earned income and child tax credit). For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 310/21

Most people use 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 310/21 to cover occupational disease compensation. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (g)(2)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (g)(2) to cover veterans' benefit. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (h)(4)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (h)(4) to cover personal injury settlement. For single debtors filing, it has a coverage limit of $15,000.

215 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/299.1a

Most people use 215 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/299.1a to cover fraternal benefit. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 170/4; 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-803

Most people use 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 170/4; 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-803 to cover unpaid wages - 85% weekly or 45 times the federal minimum hourly wage. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 305/21

Most people use 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 305/21 to cover workers compensation. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (12)(h)(5)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (12)(h)(5) to cover restitution payments (aleuts and japanese americans). For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (g)(3)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (g)(3) to cover disability or health benefits. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 to cover sold exempt property proceeds. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (h)(3)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (h)(3) to cover life insurance proceeds. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

215 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/238; 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (f)

Most people use 215 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/238; 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (f) to cover life insurance (cash surrender, child, spouse). For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-907

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-907 to cover homeowners' insurance proceeds if home destroyed. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (d)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (d) to cover tools of trade, professional books. For single debtors filing, it has a coverage limit of $1,500.

20 Ill. Comp. Stat. 1805/10

Most people use 20 Ill. Comp. Stat. 1805/10 to cover uniforms, arms of national guard. For single debtors filing, it has no coverage limit.

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (b)

Most people use 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001 (b) to cover wildcard exemption (any personal property but does not include cash, salary, wages). For single debtors filing, it has a coverage limit of $4,000.

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