South Carolina Bankruptcy Exemptions

The State of South Carolina does have both state and federal exemptions available to those filing for bankruptcy protection. Persons can use the exemptions to protect their property from creditors during bankruptcy. You have the option of utilizing either the state or federal 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 an item is used to secure a loan, such as a home or car, and timely payments are made on the account, the equity is protected by your exemptions. A debtor must generally pay the trustee the value of a non-exempt asset to keep the property. If you choose to keep the property, continual timely payments ensure that it is protected through the bankruptcy.

This is a list of some of the available exemption in the State of South Carolina. You can obtain and more detailed list of exemptions by contacting a qualified South Carolina bankruptcy attorney in your area.

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


Homestead: Co-op and real property up to $5,000

Pensions: Tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401 (k) s, 403 (b) s, profit-sharing and money-purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined-benefits plans, Traditional and Roth IRAs up to $1,095,000 per person, ERISA-qualified benefits; your share of the pension plan fund, IRA and Roth IRAs needed for support, Public employees, Police officers and firefighters, General assembly members, Judges, Solicitors

Miscellaneous: Property of business partnership, Alimony and/or child support

Insurance: Un-matured life insurance contract, except credit insurance policy, Accident and disability benefits, Proceeds of life insurance or annuity contract, Disability or illness benefits, Life insurance proceeds from policy for person you depended on up to $4,000, Group life insurance proceeds cash value up to $50,000, Benefits accruing under life insurance policy after death of insured, where proceeds left with nsurance company pursuant to agreement; benefits not exempt from action to recover necessaries if parties agree, Proceeds and cash surrender value of life insurance payable to beneficiary other than insured’s estate and for the express benefit of insured’s spouse, children or dependents. Purchase of this policy must have been two years before filing

Personal Property: Clothing, books, animals, crops, appliances, household goods, furnishings and musical instruments up to $2,500 total, Health aids, Jewelry to $500, Motor vehicle to $1,200, Burial plot to $5,000, in lieu of homestead, College investment program trust fund, Cash and other liquid assets to $1,000, in lieu of burial or homestead exemption, Personal injury and wrongful death recoveries for person you depended on for support

Public Benefits: Workers’ compensation, Unemployment compensation, Crime victims’ compensation, Social Security, Veterans’ benefits, Local public assistance, General relief, Aid to blind, aged, or disabled person

Tools of Trade: Tools of trade, books, and implements up to $750

Wages: None, use federal non-bankruptcy wage exemption

Wildcard: None

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