When you file a bankruptcy to get rid of unwanted and oppressive debt, then you have to claim the items that you want to keep as exempt. Most bankruptcies that are filed are able to claim all of the assets as exempt.
In either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Texas, the debtor has an election to make as to whether he wants to select the list of exemptions in the Texas Property Code or the statutory exemptions in the Federal Bankruptcy Code.
The benefit of taking the federal list of exemptions is that there is a wild card exemption under d(5) where the debtor can claim some cash as exempt as long as there is less than $20,000 in equity in the homestead for each filing spouse.
If there is a married couple filing jointly and there is more than $40,000 of equity in the homestead then the debtor would need to utilize the Texas Property Code’s list of exemptions. The benefit of filing in Texas is that there is no limit as to how much equity you can have in your homestead.