Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Personal Property Exemptions in the State of Texas (William Siegel)

By Bill Siegel

    Section 42.001(a) of the Texas Property Code (“TPC”), which deals with the personal property exemptions individuals can claim in Texas has been amended effective September 1, 2015.  A family can exempt personal property having a value up to $100,000.00 (increased from $60,000.00) and a single person can exempt personal property having a value up to $50,000.00 (up from $30,000.00).  The amendment expressly states that it does not apply to property subject to a voluntary bankruptcy proceedings pending prior to September 1, 2015.

Personal Property includes:

    a.    Home furnishings covers a broad category including furniture, appliances, kitchen utensils and family heirlooms.  TPC §42.002(a)(1).

    b.    Provisions for consumption - covers all food and drink purchased for consumption.  TPC §42.002(a)(2)

    c.    Farming/ranching implements - covers all farming and ranching implements including vehicles.  TPC §42.002(a)(3)

    d.    Tools of the trade - includes tools and equipment used in a trade or profession including boats and motor vehicles.  TPC §42.002(a)(4).

    e.    Clothing - includes wearing apparel.  TPC §42.002(a)(5).

    f.    Jewelry - includes all types of jewelry are exempt up to 25 percent of the aggregate limitation i.e. $60,000 x 25% or $30,000 x 25%.  TPC §42.002(a)(6).

    g.    Firearms - includes two firearms of any type.  TPC §42.002(a)(7)

    h.    Athletic/sporting equipment - includes small items for individual use including bicycles. TPC §42.002(a)(8).

    i.    Motor vehicles - includes a motor vehicle with two, three or four wheels.  Every person licensed to drive a vehicle is entitled to exempt one motor vehicle.  Persons who are unlicensed but rely on another to operate the vehicle are also entitled to exempt a vehicle.  It is worth noting that other vehicle exemptions may be available under tools of the trade and farming/ranching implements.  TPC §42.002(a)(9).

    j.    Animals - includes two horses, mules or donkeys and a saddle, bridle and blanket; 12 head of cattle; 60 head of other types of livestock; and 120 fowl.  TPC §42.002(a)(10).

    k.    Household pets - includes such pets as dogs, cats, birds, fish and other similar household animals.  TPC §42.002(a)(11).

    l.    Cemetery lots - TPC §42.001 (a)(1).

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