Illinois Economy:


Location of Illinois Bankruptcy Courts:

Northern District of Illinois

Court Locations


US Bankruptcy Court
Western Division
327 South Church Street
Rockford, IL 61101
Tel (815) 987-4350


US Bankruptcy Court
Eastern Division
219 S. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60604
Tel (312) 408-5000


Joliet City Hall
150 West Jefferson Street
2nd Floor
Joliet, Illinois 60432 (There is no phone service)

Lake County

Park City Branch Court
Courtroom B,
301 S. Greenleaf Avenue,
Park City, Illinois

Kane County

Kane County Courthouse
100 South Third Street
Room 240
Geneva, IL 60134

Southern District of Illinois

East St. Louis

United States Bankruptcy Court
Melvin Price Federal Courthouse
750 Missouri Ave.
East St. Louis, IL 62201


United States Bankruptcy Court
Federal Courthouse
301 West Main Street
Benton, IL 62812

Central District of Illinois

600 E. Monroe Street
Room 226
Springfield, IL 62701
(217) 492-4551

100 N.E. Monroe Street 
Room 216
Peoria, IL 61602
(309) 671-7035

Illinois Bankruptcy Exemptions:

Illinois Homestead Exemption

You protect equity in your residence with the homestead exemption. In Illinois, you can exempt up to $15,000 in equity in your home, which includes a farm, mobile home, lot with buildings, condominium, or cooperative. This exemption also includes proceeds from the sale of a homestead for one year. (735 ILCS 5/12-901, 902, 906.) You might also be able to protect more equity if you hold your residence as tenants by the entirety. (735 ILCS 5/12-112.)

For more details about how the homestead exemption works in Illinois, see The Illinois Homestead Exemption.

Illinois Motor Vehicle Exemption

The motor vehicle exemption protects equity in an automobile. You can exempt up to $2,400 in one motor vehicle. (735 ILCS 5/12-1001(c).)

Illinois Wildcard Exemption

If an exemption doesn’t adequately cover personal property you’d like to keep (not real estate), you can make up the difference using the wildcard exemption. Or, you can use it to protect a luxury item you couldn’t protect otherwise. The Illinois wildcard is $4,000. (735 ILCS 5/12-1001(b).)

Other Illinois Exemptions

Alimony, Support, and Maintenance

You can exempt the amount reasonably necessary for support. (735 ILCS 5/12-1001(g)(4).)

Cemeteries and Burial Funds

You can exempt all pre-need cemetery sales and future care funds. (225 ILCS 45/4a; 760 ILCS 100/4; 815 ILCS 390/16.)

Claims for Negligence or Tortious Conduct

You can exempt a payment made to you on account of the wrongful death of a person who was your dependent to the extent reasonably necessary for your support. Further, you can deduct a personal injury award up to $15,000. (735 ILCS 5/12-1001(h)(2),(4).)

Crime Victim’s Compensation

You may exempt 100% of any award given as compensation for a crime. (735 ILCS 5/12-1001(h)(1),(i); 740 ILCS 45/18.)

Franchise, Permit, and License Interests

You can exempt your liquor permit. (235 ILCS 5/6-1.)

Fraternal Benefit Society Benefits

All fraternal benefit society benefits are 100% exempt. (215 ILCS 5/299.1a.)

Insurance Benefits

Life insurance, annuity proceeds, or cash value if the beneficiary is insured’s child, parent, spouse, or another dependent. ( 215 ILCS 5/238; 735 ILCS 5/12-1001(f).)

Life insurance proceeds to a spouse or dependent of a filer to the extent needed for support. (735 ILCS 5/12-1001(f),(h)(3).)

Health, disability, or unemployment benefits. (735 ILCS 5/12-1001(g)(3).)

Partnership Property

Illinois has enacted the Uniform Partnership Act, which exempts a partner’s interest in specific property. (805 ILCS 205/25.)

Pension and Retirement Benefits

Pensions for various types of employees, including police, General Assembly, firefighters, municipal employees, city, county, and state employees, laborer and retirement board employees, park employees, sanitary district employees, state university employees, teachers, judges, correctional employees, and public library employees. (40 ILCS 5/2-154; 5/3-144.1; 5/3-135/; 5/5-218; 5/6-213; 5/7-217; 5/8-244; 5/9-228; 5/11-223; 5/12-190; 5/12-704; 5/13-213; 5/13-805; 5/14-147; 5/15-185; 5/16-190; 5/17-161; 5/19-117; 5/19-218; 5/22-230; 735 ILCS 5/12-704; 735 ILCS. 5/12-1006.)

Qualified retirement accounts (such as 401ks and IRAs) are exempt. (735 ILCS 5/12-1006.) They are also exempt in every state according to federal law, regardless of the exemption scheme used. For current amounts, see Your Retirement Plan in Bankruptcy.

Personal Property

You can exempt the following personal property: necessary wearing apparel; bible and school books; family pictures; professionally prescribed health aids; a certificate of title to any a watercraft over 12 feet in length; prepaid tuition trust fund; Illinois College Savings Pool accounts invested more than one year before filing if below federal gift tax limit, or two years before filing if above. (625 ILCS 45/3A-7(d); 735 ILCS 5/12-1001.)

Public Assistance

All public assistance is 100% exempt, including the earned income tax credit and child tax credit, but only if you have not yet received the funds. (305 ILCS 5/11-3; 735 ILCS 5/12-1001. (In re Fish, 224 B.R. 82 (Bankr. S.D. Ill 1998); In re Vasquez, No. 13-32174 (Bankr. N.D. Ill 2014).)

Trade Implements

You can exempt $1,500 in all tools of your trade, including professional books. (735 ILCS 5/12-1001.) National Guard uniforms and guns are also exempt. (20 ILCS 1805/10.)

Unemployment Compensation

You can exempt 100% of all unemployment compensation except for certain child support claims. (735 ILCS 5/12-1001; 820 ILCS 405/1300.)


You can exempt the following amount of your wages: 85% of your gross earnings or 45 times the federal minimum hourly wage per week, whichever is greater. (735 ILCS 5/12-803; 740 ILCS 170/4.)

Worker’s Compensation

All workers compensation is 100% exempt, including claims and awards for occupational diseases. (820 ILCS 305/21.)

Veteran’s Benefits

All veteran’s benefits are 100% exempt. (735 5/12-1001(g)(2).)