Saturday, January 15, 2011

Texas Property Exemptions from Execution

Texas exemptions are very broad, as many Texas collection attorneys will tell you. As of 2011, Texas property in the following categories is exempt from execution, whether for a family or for a single adult:

1. The homestead (Texas Constitution);

2. Personal property up to the aggregate fair market value of $60,000.00 for a family or $30,000.00 for a single adult who is not a member of a family. The personal property must fit into categories as described in the statute (Tex. Prop. Code §42.001);

3. Current wages for personal service (except for payment of child support) and unpaid commissions for personal services not to exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the $30/$60,000 aggregate limitations (Tex. Prop. Code §42.001);

4. Prescribed health aids (Tex. Prop. Code §42.001);

5. Worker's compensation payments (Tex. Labor Code §408.201);

6. Cemetery lots held (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 41.002);

7. Art held on consignment;

8. Assets in the hands of the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor;

9. Certain types of insurance benefits;

10. Certain savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans; and

11. College Savings Plans (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 42.0022).

There are others, but this is a basic list that should be reviewed before seeking to collect on any debt. Texas is obviously debtor friendly in its broad exemptions, so if you are an out of state collector, it would be important to discuss strategy before hiring local counsel for domestication of foreign judgments in Texas.

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