Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
Property that may not be seized by creditors and does not have to be forfeited in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Each state has its own list of exempt property; in some states, debtors may choose between the state's list and a federal list. Typically, states exempt clothing, household furnishings, tools of the debtor's trade, personal belongings, and other basic possessions. Many states also exempt a certain amount of the debtor's equity in a home and a vehicle.