Every state in the U.S. has their list of items, value of a homestead or vehicles that can be considered exempt during bankruptcy. Under Virginia State laws, they have decided to opt out of all federal exemptions. This means that Virginia residents filing bankruptcy will only receive the exemptions allowed by the state, not on a federal level. Married couples are allowed to double the exemptions allowed by the state, meaning that each spouse individually can claim their full exemption of property.

In this blog, we will discuss the most common exemptions allowed in Virginia; however, we will discuss homestead exemptions in further depth in our next blog.


Pension/Retirement Benefits: Some retirement benefits for public employees may be exempt up to 100%, but others may only be exempt up to the federal limit.

Insurance: Benefits for accidents and illness, any money set aside for continuing care providers, any benefits given by nonprofit life benefit organizations, and industrial sick benefits insurance policy funds.

Cars/Other Vehicles: Up to $6,000 in value is exempt from bankruptcy, unless the vehicle is considered a "tool of the trade" if used for work purposes.

Personal Property Items: All pets, up to $1,000 in clothes, up to $5,000 in furniture, up to $3,000 for a firearm, prescribed medications, up to $5,000 in heirlooms or portraits, wedding or engagement bands, and the head of the home can exempt up to $5,000 in personal or real property.

Military Items: Any and all military equipment is completely exempt.

Personal Injury/Wrongful Death Claims: Any compensation from injury or wrongful death claims that were court awarded or settlements are completely exempt.

Cemeteries/Burial: Any cemetery plots are 100% exempt and any funeral contracts that do not exceed $5,000 are exempt as well.

Health Savings Account: Any money that has been set into a medical savings account or other health account is considered exempt.


Having helped over 17,000 in the past 17 years, the team of Virginia Beach bankruptcy lawyers provides experienced and compassionate legal help to those facing bankruptcy in Virginia. Offering a free initial consultation, do not hesitate to get in touch with our office today at (757) 918-8365. We provide payment plans and affordable means to help get your life back on track, while helping you keep as much of your property as possible. Be sure to locate our coupon to receive $100 off your legal service.

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