Minnesota Bankruptcy Exemptions

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Like all states, Minnesota has its own set of exemptions that you may use when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Exemptions determine what property (such as a home, car, instrument, retirement account, etc.) you may keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you must pay to certain creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

In Minnesota, you may use either the Minnesota state exemptions (listed below), or the federal bankruptcy exemptions (you can find these in Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions). You cannot mix and match from each list. If you choose to use the Minnesota state exemptions, you may also use any applicable amounts in the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.

Unless noted otherwise, if a couple is married and filing jointly in Minnesota, each spouse may claim the full amount of each exemption. This is informally called “doubling.”

To learn more about bankruptcy exemptions, including how they work, which state exemption system you should use, and special rules for the homestead exemption, see Bankruptcy Exemptions – What Can I Keep When I File for Bankruptcy? 

Minnesota Bankruptcy Exemptions

Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the Minnesota Statutes Annotated.

Homestead

510.01 & 510.02 & 550.37 - A home and the land it is situated on up to $390,000 ($975,000 if used primarily for agriculture), but can not exceed 1/2 acre in a city or 160 acres elsewhere. Spouses may not double. Manufactured homes up to an unlimited value.

Personal Property

550.37 - Motor vehicle up to $4,600 ($46,000 if modified for disability); clothing, food, utensils, and watches; furniture, appliances, radio, TV, jewelry and phonographs, up to $10,3500 total; books; burial plot; church pew or seat; proceeds for damaged or destroyed exempt property; personal injury lost earnings, and wrongful death recoveries; wedding rings up to $2,695.

Wages

550.37 - Wages deposited into bank accounts for 20 days after deposit; earned wages paid within 6 months of returning to work if you previously received welfare or were incarcerated (this includes earnings deposited in a financial institution in the last 60 days).

571.922 - The greater of following: 40 times the federal minimum hourly wage or minimum of 75% of weekly disposable wages.

Pensions

11 U.S.C. § 522 - 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). 

11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C)(n) - IRAS and Roth IRAs to $1,171,150.

550.37 - ERISA-qualified benefits, including IRAs, needed for support, up to $69,000 present value.

353.15 - Public employees.

352.96 - State employees.

352B.071 - State troopers.

Public Benefits

176.175 - Workers' compensation.

268.192 - Unemployment compensation.

550.37 - Public assistance.

550.38 - Veterans' benefits.

611A.60 - Crime victims' compensation.

Tools of Trade

550.37 - Tools, library, furniture, machines, instruments, implements and stock in trade up to $11,500 total; Farm machines, implements, livestock, produce and crops of farmers. (Total cannot exceed $13,000.) Teaching materials of a university, college, public school or public institution teacher of unlimited value and not subject to $13,000 limit.

Insurance

64B.18 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.

550.37 - Life insurance proceeds if beneficiary is spouse or child, up to $46,000 plus additional $11,500 per dependent; unmatured life insurance contract dividends, interest, loan, cash, or surrender value if insured is the debtor or someone the debtor depends upon up to $9,200; police, fire, or beneficiary association benefits.

550.39 - Accident or disability proceeds.

Miscellaneous

550.37 - Earnings of a minor child.

Other 

Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.

Confirming Exemptions

This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Minnesota. However, it may not include all exemptions, and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. In addition, Minnesota may have changed the amounts since this list was last updated in June of 2011. Consider cross-checking this list with www.legalconsumer.com, which updates the state exemption amounts regularly, or check with your local bankruptcy court. 

by: , J.D.

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