Mississippi Bankruptcy Laws

Complete state of Mississippi bankruptcy exemptions laws which protect a debtor’s property when personal bankruptcy is filed.

§ 85-3-1. Property exempt from seizure under execution or attachment.
There shall be exempt from seizure under execution or attachment:

(a) Tangible personal property of the following kinds selected by the debtor, not exceeding Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) in cumulative value:

(i) Household goods, wearing apparel, books, animals or crops;
(ii) Motor vehicles;
(iii) Implements, professional books or tools of the trade;
(iv) Cash on hand;
(v) Professionally prescribed health aids;
(vi) Any items of tangible personal property worth less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) each.
Household goods, as used in this paragraph (a), means clothing, furniture, appliances, one (1) radio and one (1) television, one (1) firearm, one (1) lawnmower, linens, china, crockery, kitchenware, and personal effects (including wedding rings) of the debtor and his dependents; however, works of art, electronic entertainment equipment (except one (1) television and one (1) radio), jewelry (other than wedding rings), and items acquired as antiques are not included within the scope of the term “household goods.” This paragraph (a) shall not apply to distress warrants issued for collection of taxes due the state or to wages described in Section 85-3-4.

(b) (i) The proceeds of insurance on property, real and personal, exempt from execution or attachment, and the proceeds of the sale of such property.

(ii) Income from disability insurance.

(c) All property in this state, real, personal and mixed, for the satisfaction of a judgment or claim in favor of another state or political subdivision of another state for failure to pay that state’s or that political subdivision’s income tax on benefits received from a pension or other retirement plan. As used in this paragraph (c), “pension or other retirement plan” includes:

(i) An annuity, pension, or profit-sharing or stock bonus or similar plan established to provide retirement benefits for an officer or employee of a public or private employer or for a self-employed individual;
(ii) An annuity, pension, or military retirement pay plan or other retirement plan administered by the United States; and
(iii) An individual retirement account.

(d) One (1) mobile home, trailer, manufactured housing, or similar type dwelling owned and occupied as the primary residence by the debtor, not exceeding a value of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00); in determining this value, existing encumbrances on the dwelling, including taxes and all other liens, shall first be deducted from the actual value of the dwelling. A debtor is not entitled to the exemption of a mobile home as personal property who claims a Mississippi homestead exemption under Section 85-3-21, and the exemption shall not apply to collection of delinquent taxes under Sections 27-41-101 through 27-41-109.
(e) Assets held in, or monies payable to the participant or beneficiary from, whether vested or not, (i) a pension, profit-sharing, stock bonus or similar plan or contract established to provide retirement benefits for the participant or beneficiary and qualified under Section 401(a), 403(a), or 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (or corresponding provisions of any successor law), including a retirement plan for self-employed individuals qualified under one of such enumerated sections, (ii) an eligible deferred compensation plan described in Section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (or corresponding provisions of any successor law), or (iii) an individual retirement account or an individual retirement annuity within the meaning of Section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code (or corresponding provisions of any successor law), including a simplified employee pension plan.
(f) Monies paid into or, to the extent payments out are applied to tuition or other qualified higher education expenses at eligible educational institutions, as defined in Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code or corresponding provisions of any successor law, monies paid out of the assets of and the income from any validly existing qualified tuition program authorized under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code or corresponding provisions of any successor law, including, but not limited to, the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (MPACT) Program established under Sections 37-155-1 through 37-155-27 and the Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program established under Sections 37-155-101 through 37-155-125.
(g) The assets of a health savings account, including any interest accrued thereon, established pursuant to a health savings account program as provided in the Health Savings Accounts Act (Sections 83-62-1 through 83-62-9).
(h) In addition to all other exemptions listed in this section, there shall be an additional exemption of property having a value of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) of whatever type, whether real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, including deposits of money, available to any Mississippi resident who is seventy (70) years of age or older.
(i) An amount not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) of earned income tax credit proceeds.
(j) An amount not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) of federal tax refund proceeds.
(k) An amount not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) of state tax refund proceeds.
(l) Nothing in this section shall in any way affect the rights or remedies of the holder or owner of a statutory lien or voluntary security interest.

§ 85-3-21. Homestead exemption; land and buildings.
Every citizen of this state, male or female, being a householder shall be entitled to hold exempt from seizure or sale, under execution or attachment, the land and buildings owned and occupied as a residence by him, or her, but the quantity of land shall not exceed one hundred sixty (160) acres, nor the value thereof, inclusive of improvements, save as hereinafter provided, the sum of Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00); provided, however, that in determining this value, existing encumbrances on such land and buildings, including taxes and all other liens, shall first be deducted from the actual value of such land and buildings. But husband or wife, widower or widow, over sixty (60) years of age, who has been an exemptionist under this section, shall not be deprived of such exemption because of not residing therein.
§ 85-3-23. Homestead exemption; land and buildings; insurance proceeds; personal property.
Every citizen of this state, male or female, being a householder shall be entitled to hold exempt from seizure or sale under execution or attachment the land and buildings owned and occupied as a residence by such person, also the proceeds of any insurance, fire or otherwise, on any such buildings destroyed or damaged by fire, tornado or otherwise, not to exceed in value, save as hereinafter provided, Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00), and personal property to be selected by him or her not to exceed in value Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) or the articles specified as exempt to the head of a family; provided, however, that no sum or amount due, or to become due such person, nor any part thereof, for or on account of wages, salaries or commissions, shall in any proceedings be selected or claimed as exempt under this section. But husband or wife, widower or widow, over sixty (60) years of age, who has been an exemptionist under this section, shall not be deprived of such exemption because of not residing therein

§ 85-3-4. Execution or attachment of wages, salaries or other compensation; limitations.

(1) The wages, salaries or other compensation of laborers or employees, residents of this state, shall be exempt from seizure under attachment, execution or garnishment for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of service of any writ of attachment, execution or garnishment. v (2) After the passage of the period of thirty (30) days described in subsection (1) of this section, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings (as defined by Section 1672(b) of Title 15, United States Code Annotated) of an individual that may be levied by attachment, execution or garnishment shall be:

(a) In the case of earnings for any workweek, the lesser amount of either,

(i) Twenty-five percent (25%) of his disposable earnings for that week, or
(ii) The amount by which his disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty (30) times the federal minimum hourly wage (prescribed by section 206 (a)(1) of Title 29, United States Code Annotated) in effect at the time the earnings are payable; or

(b) In the case of earnings for any period other than a week, the amount by which his disposable earnings exceed the following “multiple” of the federal minimum hourly wage which is equivalent in effect to that set forth in subparagraph (a)(ii) of this subsection (2): The number of workweeks, or fractions thereof multiplied by thirty (30) multiplied by the applicable federal minimum wage.

(3) (a) The restrictions of subsection (1) and (2) of this section do not apply in the case of:

(i) Any order for the support of any person issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or in accordance with an administrative procedure, which is established by state law, which affords substantial due process, and which is subject to judicial review.
(ii) Any debt due for any state or local tax.

(b) Except as provided in subparagraph (b)(iii) of this subsection (3), the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person shall not exceed:

(i) Where such individual is supporting his spouse or dependent child (other than a spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is used), fifty percent (50%) of such individual’s disposable earnings for that week; and
(ii) Where such individual is not supporting such a spouse or dependent child described in subparagraph (b)(i) of this subsection (3), sixty percent (60%) of such individual’s disposable earnings for that week;
(iii) With respect to the disposable earnings of any individual for that workweek, the fifty percent (50%) specified in subparagraph (b)(i) of this subsection (3) shall be deemed to be fifty-five percent (55%) and the sixty percent (60%) specified in subparagraph (b)(ii) of this subsection (3) shall be deemed to be sixty-five percent (65%), if and to the extent that such earnings are subject to garnishment to enforce a support order with respect to a period which is prior to the period of twelve (12) weeks which ends with the beginning of such workweek.
§ 21-29-257. Exemption from process.
No part of said fund to which any of said firemen or policemen shall be entitled, or which may be payable or ordered paid to him shall be seized, attached, assigned or levied upon by any writ of attachment, garnishment, execution, sequestration or other like process or writ.

§ 25-11-129. Exemptions from taxation, execution, and assignment; deductions from retirement allowances for payment of employer or system sponsored group life or health insurance.

(1) The right of a person to an annuity, a retirement allowance or benefit, or to the return of contributions, or to any optional benefit or any other right accrued or accruing to any person under the provisions of Articles 1 and 3, the system and the monies in the system created by said articles, are hereby exempt from any state, county or municipal ad valorem taxes, income taxes, premium taxes, privilege taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes or other taxes not so named, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, and exempt from levy and sale, garnishment, attachment or any other process whatsoever, and shall be unassignable except as specifically otherwise provided in this article and except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) Any retired member or beneficiary receiving a retirement allowance or benefit under this article may authorize the system to make deductions from the retirement allowance or benefit for the payment of employer or system sponsored group life or health insurance. The deductions authorized under this subsection shall be subject to rules and regulations adopted by the board.
§ 25-11-201. Continuance of certain vested rights.
(1) As soon after July 1, 1952, as practicable, but not later than July 15, 1952, the board of trustees of the teachers’ retirement system shall transfer all funds and securities held by the teachers’ retirement system to the trustees of the public employees’ retirement system created by Sections 25-11-1 through 25-11-139, and the corporation known as the teachers’ retirement system of Mississippi shall be dissolved as of the date thereof. The board of trustees of the teachers’ retirement system shall at that time make a full and complete report and accounting as to all funds and securities in its possession and under its control, and shall transfer all books, records, papers, and equipment under its control to the board of trustees of the public employees’ retirement system. Under the provisions of said Sections 25-11-1 through 25-11-139, the board of trustees of the public employees’ retirement system shall from that date proceed with the liquidation of the teachers’ retirement system as follows:
(d) The accumulated contributions of the several members shall be set aside in a trust fund designated as “Fund A” to be held for refund to the respective persons or beneficiaries entitled thereto; no interest shall be allowed. Until refunded or otherwise disposed of, such funds, interest therein, and rights thereto shall not be subject to legal, judicial, or other process.

§ 25-13-31. Exemption of benefits from taxation, legal execution, and assignment; deductions from retirement allowances for payment of employer or system sponsored group life or health insurance.

(1) The right of a person to an annuity, a retirement allowance or benefit, or to the return of contributions, or to any optional benefits or any other right accrued or accruing to any person under the provisions of the Highway Patrol Retirement Law, the system and the monies in the system created by said law, are hereby exempt from any state, county or municipal ad valorem taxes, income taxes, premium taxes, privilege taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes or other taxes not so named, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, and exempt from levy and sale, garnishment, attachment, or any other process whatsoever, and shall be unassignable except as specifically otherwise provided in this article.
(2) Any retired member or beneficiary receiving a retirement allowance or benefit under this article may authorize the Public Employees’ Retirement System to make deductions from the retirement allowance or benefit for the payment of employer or system sponsored group life or health insurance. The deductions authorized under this subsection shall be subject to rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees’ Retirement System.
§ 25-14-5. Deferred compensation program authorized; investment; deferred compensation exempt from tax and execution.
The State of Mississippi, or any state agency, county, municipality or other political subdivision may, by contract, agree with any employee to defer, in whole or in part, any portion of that employee’s income, and a county, municipality or other political subdivision, except community and junior college districts, may make contributions to the plan on behalf of actively participating members on a uniform basis through an employer contribution agreement as provided for in the Mississippi Deferred Compensation Plan and Trust Plan Document if making the contribution does not conflict with any other state law. Those funds may subsequently be used to purchase a fixed or variable life insurance or annuity contract authorized for purchase by the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi for the purpose of protecting its obligation to the deferred compensation program for the employee from any life underwriter duly licensed by this state who represents an insurance company licensed to contract fixed and variable annuities and fixed or variable life insurance business in this state and authorized by the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi to offer their products in the plan, or to purchase any investments authorized for purchase by the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi under Section 25-11-121, or to invest those monies in a fund or funds maintained by a corporate trustee, which fund or funds are used as an investment media for retirement, pension or profit sharing plans that are tax qualified for that purpose. However, in the administration of this plan, the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi may adopt such regulations as are reasonable and necessary to assure the orderly functioning of the plan, but those regulations shall not unreasonably restrict all licensed life underwriters and insurance companies described in this section from concurrently participating in providing contracts authorized under this section. Anything in any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, the deferred portion of the employee’s compensation, the plan and the monies in the plan created by this chapter are exempt from any state, county or municipal ad valorem taxes, income taxes, premium taxes, privilege taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes and any other taxes not so named, until the deferred compensation is paid to the employee or beneficiary and exempt from levy, garnishment, attachment or any other process whatsoever.
§ 43-3-71. Assistance not assignable. (Assistance to the Blind)
Assistance granted under Sections 43-3-51 through 43-3-91 shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and none of the money paid or payable under said sections shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.
§ 43-9-19. Assistance not assignable. (Assistance to the Aged)
No assistance given under this chapter shall be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and none of the money paid or payable under this chapter shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.
§ 43-29-15. Assistance not assignable. (Assistance to the Disabled)
No assistance given under this chapter shall be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and none of the money paid or payable under this chapter shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.
§ 71-1-43. Income or principal of employee trust plan not to be encumbered.
The income or principal payable to a beneficiary or beneficiaries under any trust created by an employer as part of a pension plan, disability or death benefit plan, profit-sharing plan, or under any trust created under a retirement plan for which provision has been made under the laws of the United States of America exempting such trust from federal income tax shall not be pledged, assigned, transferred, sold, or in any manner whatsoever accelerated, anticipated, or encumbered by the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Nor shall any income or principal be in any manner subject or liable in the hands of the trustee for the debts, contracts, or engagements of the beneficiary or beneficiaries, or be subject to any assignment or other involuntary alienation or disposition whatsoever. Nor shall any income or principal be subject to the levy of any execution, writ of attachment, or garnishment thereon.
§ 71-3-43. Assignment and exemption from claims of creditors. (Workers’ Compensation)
No assignment, release, or commutation of compensation or benefits due or payable under this chapter, except as provided by this chapter, shall be valid; and such compensation and benefits shall be exempt from all claims of creditors and from levy, execution, and attachment or other remedy for recovery or collection of a debt, which exemption may be waived. This section prevails over Sections 75-9-406 and 75-9-408 of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code to the extent, if any, that these sections may otherwise be applicable.
§ 71-5-539. No assignment of benefits; exemptions. (Unemployment Compensation)
Any assignment, pledge or incumbrance of any right to benefits which are or may become due or payable under this chapter shall be void. Such rights to benefits shall be exempt from levy, execution, attachment or any other remedy whatsoever provided for the collection of debt; and benefits received by any individual, so long as they are not mingled with other funds of the recipient, shall be exempt from any remedy whatsoever for the collection of all debts except debts incurred for necessities furnished to such individual or his spouse or dependents during the time when such individual was unemployed. Any waiver of any exemption provided in this section shall be void. This section does not apply to the deduction from benefits provided by Section 71-5-516.
§ 83-7-5. Proceeds of policy not subject to judicial process or assignment while in hands of company.
If, under the terms of any annuity contract, or policy of life insurance, or under any written agreement supplemental thereto issued by any life insurance company, the proceeds are retained by such company at maturity or otherwise, no person entitled to any part of such proceeds, or any installments of interest due or to become due thereon, shall be permitted to commute, anticipate, encumber, alienate, or assign the same, or any part thereof, if such permission is expressly withheld by the terms of such contract, policy, or supplemental agreement. If such contract, policy, or supplemental agreement so provides, no payment of interest or of principal shall be in any way subject to such person’s debts, contracts, or engagements, nor to any judicial processes to levy upon or attach the same for payment thereof. No such company shall be required to segregate such funds, but may hold them as a part of its general corporate funds.
§ 83-29-39. Benefit not attachable.
No money or other benefit, charity, relief, or aid to be paid, provided, or rendered by any such society shall be liable to attachment, garnishment, or other process, or be seized, taken, appropriated, or applied by any legal or equitable process or operation of law to pay any debt or liability of a member or beneficiary or any other person who may have a right thereunder, either before or after payment.

§ 85-3-11. Proceeds of life insurance policy; named beneficiaries; certain proceeds of policies exempt from liability for debts of person insured.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), all proceeds of a life insurance policy including cash surrender and loan values, shall inure to the party or parties named as the beneficiaries thereof, free from all liability for the debts of the person whose life was insured, even though such person paid the premium thereon. In addition, all proceeds, including cash surrender and loan values, of a policy of life insurance owned by or assigned to another, shall inure to the beneficiary or beneficiaries named therein, subject to terms of any assignment, free from all liability for debts of the person whose life was insured.
(2) (a) The exemption authorized in Subsection (1) shall not apply to that portion of the cash surrender value or loan value of any life insurance policy which exceeds the sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) as a result of premiums paid or premium deposits or other payments made within twelve (12) months of issuance of a writ of seizure, attachment, garnishment or other process or the filing of a voluntary or involuntary bankruptcy proceeding under the United States Code.
(b) The amount of any premiums for the insurance paid with intent to defraud creditors, with interest thereon, shall inure to the benefit of such creditors from the proceeds of the policy; but the insurer issuing the policy shall be discharged of all liabilities thereon by payment of its proceeds in accordance with its terms, unless before such payment the insurer shall have written notice, by or on behalf of a creditor, of a claim to recover for transfer made or premiums paid with intent to defraud creditors with specification of the amount claimed.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, a creditor possessing a valid assignment from the policy owner may recover from either the cash surrender value or the proceeds of the life insurance policy the amount secured by the assignment with interest.
§ 85-3-17. Judgment for personal injury.
The proceeds of any judgment not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) recovered by any person on account of personal injuries sustained, shall inure to the party or parties in whose favor such judgment may be rendered, free from all liabilities for the debts of the person injured.
§ 99-41-23. Calculation of award; payment in installments; assignment of award. (Crime Victims’ Compensation)
(7) An award shall not be subject to execution, attachment, garnishment or other process, except that an award shall not be exempt from orders for the withholding of support for minor children, and except that an award for allowable expense shall not be exempt from a claim of a creditor to the extent that such creditor has provided products, services or accommodations, the costs of which are included in the award.

Note: While this reference information is current as of August 2010, it may not reflect the most up-to-date exemption figures on official state of Mississippi bankruptcy court statutes.

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