PUERTO RICO BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTION LIST - CODE

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Remember, you may use Federal Exemptions; however, you cannot mix and match exemptions from the federal bankruptcy code and territorial law. You must choose one system or the other!

The following is a summary of the Puerto Rico exemptions that can be claimed (used) to exempt both your real and personal property in a bankruptcy petition. Puerto Rico residents may use either the Puerto Rico exemptions or the Federal exemptions; however, if your residence has not been continuously in the territory of Puerto Rico for the two years prior to filing a bankruptcy petition, there are laws as whether you are able use the territory versus federal exemptions.

Exempt property of a debtor is property of the debtor that is not available to be used (sold) to pay his/her unsecured creditors and is not subject to the claims of unsecured creditors, but may be subject to the rights of secured creditors and lien holders. When reviewing the list for exemptions for your own property you should be aware that there may not be a "matching" exemption. Some state exemptions contain a "wildcard" which can be used if a matching exemption cannot be found in the list of exemptions. Also, an individual must own an interest in the property to claim the property as exempt.

The debtor may exempt the equity (value of property less the total amount owed against it) however; any equity value in the property above the exemption amount may be subject to the claims of unsecured creditors.

By way of example, if you own a home worth $250,000 and owe a total of $200,000 against it (combining all mortgage/home equity lines of credit and/or liens against the property) the amount of equity you would need to protect is $50,000. So long as the homestead exemption is more than $50,000 the full amount of the equity is exempt and not subject to the claims of your unsecured creditors. In the alternative, say the home is worth $250,000 and you only owe $100,000 against it, anything over the exemption amount is subject to the claims of the unsecured creditors.

The same type example would apply to a motor vehicle, though the exemption for a motor vehicle is less than the amount of the exemption for a home.

Please note that all of the exemptions may be doubled if a married couple is filing, with the exception of the homestead exemption.

Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Court

If you need legal advice or an attorney, see Ivan Remus, PE, Esq.
Description LAW Max
Individual
Amount
Max
Joint
Amount
Animal and Related Equipment/Miner 32 LPRA  §1130(5) $300.00 $600.00
Annuities 26 LPRA §1135 UNLIMITED
Annuities-Police And Firefighter Retirement 25 LPRA §383 UNLIMITED
Arms, Uniforms, Accouterments Required By Law To Be Kept 32 LPRA  §1130(11) UNLIMITED
Benefits - Automobile Accident Social Protection Act 9 LPRA  §2055 UNLIMITED
Benefits - Government Employees, Instrumentalities & Judiciary 3 LPRA § 788a UNLIMITED
Cabin/Dwelling Of Miner 32 LPRA  §1130(5) $200.00 $400.00
Chairs, Tables, Desks, Books 32 LPRA  §1130(1) $100.00 $200.00
Common Iceboxes, Home Use Kitchens, Elec. Irons For Home Use 32 LPRA  §1130(14) UNLIMITED
Cow W/Calf And Hog W/Pigs 32 LPRA  §1130(2) UNLIMITED
Disability Benefits (Suppl. To Life Ins. Or Annuity Contracts) 26 LPRA §1132 UNLIMITED
Family Pictures, Portraits 32 LPRA  §1130(2) UNLIMITED
Farm Animals and Water Rights 32 LPRA  §1130(3) UNLIMITED
Farm Tools of Trade 32 LPRA  §1130(3) $200.00 $400.00
Fraternal Benefit Society Benefits 26 LPRA §3601 UNLIMITED
Group Life Insurance 26 LPRA §1134 UNLIMITED
Homestead (S. B. 2187)  (S. B. 2551) 31 LPRA §1851 UNLIMITED  
Horse With Vehicle And Food For Horse For Horse For One Month, Etc. 32 LPRA  §1130(6) UNLIMITED
Household Furnishings 32 LPRA  §1130(2) $200.00 $400.00
Life Insurance Benefits 32 LPRA  §1130(9) UNLIMITED
Motor Vehicle As Working Tool Of Owner 32 LPRA  §1130(4a) $6,000.00 $12,000.00
Notary Seal 32 LPRA  §1130(4) UNLIMITED
One Gun 32 LPRA  §1130(11) UNLIMITED
Pension To Benefic. Or Heirs Of Pens'ned Memb. Of Pol. Force 25 LPRA § 400 UNLIMITED
Personnel Salaries Of Puerto Rico Public Education System 3 LPRA § 144y UNLIMITED
Proceeds/Avails Of Life Ins. Pol. (Beneficiary, Assignee, Payee) 26 LPRA §1133 UNLIMITED
Prof. Libraries - Lawyers, Judges, Minister  Of The Gospel 32 LPRA  §1130(4) UNLIMITED
Provisions - One Month 32 LPRA  §1130(2) UNLIMITED
Public Assistance 8 LPRA §23 UNLIMITED
Puerto Rico Commonwealth Employees Association Act benefits 3 LRPA § 863c UNLIMITED
Radio Receiving Sets ($100 per unit maximum) 32 LPRA  §1130(14) UNLIMITED
Retired Teachers Annuities 18 LPRA §361 UNLIMITED
Seed/Grain/Vegetables For Planting 32 LPRA  §1130(3) $200.00 $400.00
Shares Held By Member Of Homestead Assoc. If Not Owner 32 LPRA  §1130(8) $500.00 $1,000.00
Teachers§ Annuities/Pensions 18 LPRA §323 UNLIMITED
Television Sets ($250 per unit maximum) 32 LPRA  §1130(14) UNLIMITED
Tools Of The Trade (Doctors) 32 LPRA  §1130(4) UNLIMITED
Tools Of The Trade (Mechanic/Artisan) 32 LPRA  §1130(4) $300.00 $600.00
Tools Of The Trade/Miner 32 LPRA  §1130(5) $200.00 $400.00
Two Oxen, Two Horses, Two Mules, Etc. 32 LPRA  §1130(6) UNLIMITED
Unemployment Benefits 29 LPRA §705 UNLIMITED
Wages 32 LPRA  §1130(7) UNLIMITED
Washing Machines for home use (cash val. not to exceed $200) 32 LPRA  §1130(14) UNLIMITED
Wearing Apparel 32 LPRA  §1130(2) UNLIMITED
Workers§ Compensation 11 LPRA §203 UNLIMITED

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Disclaimer

Citations and links to primary law and secondary sources are provided for those who wish to do further research. Every effort has been made to make this information up to date and accurate, but laws can and do change without notice. Persons relying on this information are responsible for confirming its timeliness and accuracy before relying on it. Also, bear in mind, that these brief summaries do not list every detail or exception to these exemptions. For example, there are often exceptions for collection of child support debt and/or taxes. These listings are designed to inform you of laws that exist for your benefit, so that you may exercise what rights you may have. Finally, this website is intended to provide information only. It cannot answer whether your property does or does not qualify for a specific exemption.