North Dakota Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal bankruptcy exemptions are not available for residents in the State of North Dakota. There is property that you can exempt or protect from creditors when you file bankruptcy. You have the option of utilizing the state exemptions. After filing for bankruptcy, this property is safe. Be aware that there are certain debts, which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy. These are non-dischargeable debts.

There are some limits on certain exemptions such as equity that you have in a home or in a vehicle. The difference between the cost of the item and the amount owed on the item is the definition of equity. If the item is secured by a loan and timely payments are made, the equity is protected by your exemptions. A debtor must generally pay the trustee the value of the non-exempt property to keep the property. If you choose to keep the property, continual timely payments ensures protection of property through bankruptcy.

This is a list of some of the available exemptions in the State of North Dakota. There is certain property, which is excluded or exempt that the debtor can keep based on their specific situation and personal income. You can obtain and more detailed list of exemptions by contacting a qualified North Dakota bankruptcy attorney in your area. They will be able to list and explain all of the state exemptions.

The best way to determine which exemptions to utilize is to meet with a qualified and proven bankruptcy lawyer who can evaluate your case and guide you through the process.


Homestead: Real property, house trailer or mobile home to $80,000 (husband and wife may not double)

Insurance: Fraternal benefit society benefits, Life insurance proceeds payable to deceased’s estate, not to a specific beneficiary, Life insurance surrender value to $100,000 per policy, if beneficiary is insured’s dependant and policy was owned over 1 year before filing for bankruptcy; limit does not apply if more needed for support

Pensions: Tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit sharing, and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined-benefit plans. Traditional and Roth IRAs to $1,095,000, Disabled veterans’ benefits, except military retirement pay, Public employees deferred compensation, Public employees pensions, ERISA qualified benefits, IRAs, Roth IRAs and Keoghs to $100,000 per plan; no limit, if more needed for support; total exemption cannot exceed $200,000 with life insurance surrender value

Personal Property: 1. All debtors may exempt: Bible, schoolbooks; other books up to $100, Burial plots and church pew, Insurance proceeds for exempt property, Clothing and family pictures, Crops or grain raised by debtor on 160 acres where debtor resides, Food and fuel to last one year, Motor vehicle up to $1,200; up to $32,000 if vehicle modified to accommodate debtor’s disability, Wrongful death recoveries up to $7,500, Personal injury recoveries up to $7,500, 2. Head of household not claiming crops or grain may claim $5,000 of any personal property or: Musical instruments and books up to $1,500, Kitchen furniture and household, beds and bedding up to $1,000, Livestock and farm implements up to $4,500, tools and library of professional, tools of mechanic and stock in trade, up to $1,000, 3. Non-head of household not claiming crops or grain may claim $2,500 of any personal property

Public Benefits: Social Security, Public assistance, Crime victims’ compensation, Unemployment compensation, Workers’ compensation, Old age and survivor insurance program benefits

Wages: Minimum 75% of disposable weekly earnings or 40 times the federal minimum, wage, whichever is more; bankruptcy judge may authorize more for low-income debtors

Wildcard: $7,500 of any property in lieu of homestead

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