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For Your Bankruptcy Class or Presentation

posted by Bob Lawless

Bankruptcy Opt-Out StatesOK, bankruptcy mavens. What is this a map of? Answer below the fold.

That's right, the states in blue have opted out of the federal exemptions and only allow bankruptcy filers to use the state exemptions, at least according to Collier on Bankruptcy. I needed this map for my class and could not find one online so I created this one. It seemed like others might want it too, so you can download a JPG from this link.



This is a great resource. I'll be using it in my Fall bankruptcy class, with attribution to you. Thank you for preparing it.

Just one question - I'm a little surprised to see Minnesota as a federal exemption state, in view of the well-known Tvetan pre-petition exemption planning case. That case turned on state exemptions. Did Minnesota change its exemption status?

Jim Hayes
Western State College of Law
Irvine, CA 92618

Thanks, Jim. No need to attribute to me. All I did was "bucket fill" a map I had using the list in Collier. It took about three minutes, if that. As to Minnesota, I don't know if the law changed. Collier does not list it as an opt-out state

Minnesota appears to allow residents to use either the Minnesota state exemptions or the Bankruptcy Code exemptions in section 522(d). See Minnesota Statutes sections 550.37 and 550.371(1).

The states that have not opted out - allow the debtor to claim either the Federal or State exemptions.

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless ([email protected]) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.