Updated February 7, 2019
You won’t lose all of your assets when filing for bankruptcy in Minnesota. You can use Minnesota’s bankruptcy exemptions to protect property you’ll need to work and maintain a household, such as furnishings, clothing, and a retirement account.
Your other choice—using the federal bankruptcy exemptions—could provide more protection, depending on the assets you own.
Learn more about filing a Minnesota bankruptcy.
Some states, including Minnesota, allow residents to choose between the state and federal bankruptcy exemptions. You can’t protect property by using exemptions from both lists—you must pick the system that will work best for you. If you elect to use Minnesota’s state exemptions, the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions will be available to you, too.
Here are some of the more common exemptions in Minnesota. When reviewing them, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:
510.01 & 510.02 & 550.37 – Equity up to $420,000 for a home and the land on which it’s situated. The exemption amount increases to $1,050,000 if used primarily for agriculture, but the size can’t exceed 160 acres. Also, spouses can’t double the exemption. You can fully exempt a manufactured home.
550.37 – Equity in a motor vehicle up to $4,800. The amount increases to $48,000 if the vehicle is modified for use by a person with a disability.
550.37 - Clothing, food, utensils, and watches; furniture, appliances, radio, TV, and photographs, up to $10,800 total; books; burial plot; church pew or seat; proceeds for damaged or destroyed exempt property; personal injury and wrongful death recoveries; wedding rings up to $2,940.
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 maximum (amount changes).
353.15 - Public employees.
352.15(1) - State employees.
352B.071 - Highway patrol.
550.37(24) – Employee benefits up to $72,000.
176.175(2) - Workers' compensation.
268.192(2) - 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 up to $12,000; farm machines, implements, livestock, produce and crops of farmers up to $13,000. Teaching materials of a university, college, public school or public institution teacher of unlimited value.
64B.18 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.
550.37 - Life insurance proceeds if beneficiary is spouse or child, up to $48,000 plus additional $12,000 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 $9,600; police, fire, or beneficiary association benefits.
550.39 - Disability proceeds.
550.37(26(a)) – Health savings account to $25,000.
550.37(26(b)) – Medical savings account to $25,000.
550.37 - Earnings of a minor child.
Add any applicable federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
Some people can keep all assets, but that isn’t always true. Here’s what will happen to nonexempt property:
You’ll learn more about Chapter 7 and 13 in Which Type of Bankruptcy is Right for Me?
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Minnesota, but not all. Specific exemptions could have qualification requirements, and amounts might have changed since this list was last updated. Check the Minnesota Statutes or with a local bankruptcy lawyer.
To learn more about bankruptcy exemptions, the state exemption system, and the homestead exemption rules, read Bankruptcy Exemptions – What Can I Keep When I File for Bankruptcy?