Exemptions from Collections

State Law Exemptions from Collection

Try This If You Are Garnished

Collection is an extremely unpleasant thing, and you will want to avoid it if possible. That means not allowing anybody to get a judgment against you.

We don’t include this information here to help you avoid collection, however. This information should help you understand the legal status of your assets for purposes of your negotiation planning. Remember: you should think long and hard about giving a debt collector any protected assets (which all of these exemptions are), but that does not mean you should never do so. These exemptions are the exemptions provided under Missouri law (paraphrased – look up the law for exact statutory language), but different states have very different rules on some of these exemptions (most notably on homesteads). For an exact  understanding of all the exemptions under your state’s laws, we suggest you google the term “exemptions from levy” plus your state’s name.

There are specific procedures you would follow in order to claim these exemptions if a levy (garnishment) occurred, but again, we include this information simply as a guide to understanding the legal character of your assets.

513.430 RSMo. 2010 et seq. provides the following exemptions:

1.         Household furnishings and goods, clothes, appliances, books… held primarily for personal, family or household use of the debtor or a dependent, not to exceed $3,000 total.

2.         A wedding ring worth not more than $1,500, plus other personal jewelry worth no more than $500 total.

3.         Any property, of any kind, not to exceed $600 in value in total.

4.         Implements, professional books or tools of the trade of the debtor or a dependent worth not more than $3,000.

5.         Any motor vehicle worth not more than $3,000.

6.         Any mobile home used as the principle residence but not on or attached to property owned by the debtor, worth no more than $5,000.

7.         Any unmatured life insurance contracts.

8.         Amount of any unaccrued dividend or interest under, or loan value of, any one or more unmatured life insurance contracts.

9.         Professionally prescribed health aids for debtor or dependents.

10.       Right to receive social benefit, unemployment compensation, or a local public assistance benefit, veteran’s benefits, disability, illness or unemployment benefits, or a stock bonus plan (etc.).

11.       Right to receive money or property traceable to a payment on account of the wrongful death of an individual on whom the debtor was dependent (with some limitations).

12.       A homestead consisting of a house and appurtenances and land worth not more than $15,000.