South Carolina Bankruptcy Exemptions

South Carolina bankruptcy exemptions are mandatory, which means you are not allowed to use the federal set of exemptions instead of the exemptions offered under the state laws. However, federal supplemental exemptions can be used in conjunction with the same.


Like the majority of other states, South Carolina also offers certain exemptions under the wildcard category. You can exempt any property of your choice for up to $5000. However, you do not get the wildcard exemption additionally; you get it from the unused exemptions value from other categories that may include tools of trade, jewelry, personal property, motor vehicle, burial plots, and homestead.


However, unlike the majority of other states, South Carolina does not allow you to exempt anything from your wages. Since no South Carolina bankruptcy exemptions are available in this category, the wages you have earned can be used to settle your debts.

Tools Of Trade

A maximum of $1500 can be exempted in tools of trade, books, and implements.

Public Benefits

The different types of public benefits that are 100% safe during bankruptcy in this state include Workers’ compensation, Veterans’ benefits, Unemployment compensation, Social Security benefits, Local public assistance, general relief benefits, Crime victims’ compensation and aid to disabled, blind, and aged.

Personal Property

The following provisions are applicable when it comes to exemptions for personal assets and properties.

- 100% of wrong death and personal injury settlement claims for an individual that the debtor was dependent on.
- A maximum of $5000 of equity value is exemptible in motor vehicles.
- South Carolina bankruptcy exemptions can be availed for jewelry items also; the maximum value that can be exempted is $1000.
- 100% of health aids
- 100% of College investment program trust fund
- If you are not willing to avail any exemptions for homestead properties or for burial plots, the bankruptcy court will allow you to exempt up to $5000 of cash and other liquid assets.
- The exemptions for burial plots can also be availed for up to $50000 in equity value, but only if you are not exempting any property in the homestead category.
- Besides that, up to an aggregate total of $4000 is also allowed to be exempted for some basic personal assets and properties that may include musical instruments, furnishings, household goods, clothing, books, appliances, crops, and animals.


You can avail South Carolina bankruptcy exemptions in full (100%) for certain types of pensions that may include Public employees pensions, Police officers pensions, solicitors pensions, Judges pensions, General assembly members pensions, and Firefighters pensions.

Retirement Savings

Certain types of retirement savings are also exemptible, such as IRAs (there can be certain limitations as per court order), your share of the pension plan fund, and other ERISA-qualified benefits.


Any property that belongs to a business partnership where you are one of the partners is exemptible in full. Besides that, you also get full exemptions for child support payments and alimony payments, if any.


You can avail South Carolina bankruptcy exemptions for insurance policies and proceeds as per the following provisions.

- 100% of Fraternal benefit society benefits.
- 100% of illness or disability fund
- 100% of any life insurance contract that is yet to mature. It is important to note that this specific exemption is not applicable for credit insurance policies.
- If the insurer is the beneficiary, the proceeds of annuity contract and life insurance can be exemptible in full
- 100% of cash surrender value or proceeds of life insurance payable to dependents of the debtor (insurer), including children and spouse provided the policy was purchased two years prior to filing the bankruptcy petition. If you do not fulfill this condition, you will be able to exempt only up to $4000.
- Life insurance proceeds provided you depended on the insurer can also be exempted up to an extent that is reasonably needed for support.
- Up to $4000 can be exempted in life insurance avails from a policy that was issued to someone you depended on.
- 100% of disability and accident benefits


Up to $50,000 of South Carolina bankruptcy exemptions can be availed in homestead properties (any real property including co-op). Joint owners might be eligible to get double exemptions in this category.

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One Response to “South Carolina Bankruptcy Exemptions”

  1. scott says:

    Very interesting. Bankruptcy is a very complex process and it is very difficult also to face this traumatic part of life. If you are residing in South Carolina you have to use only state specific exemptions with which federal supplemental exemptions can be combined. You can get any property exempted under the wild card option. But there are some conditions in this category you should study it thoroughly. South Carolina will not exempt you in your wages if you have earned some thing then you have to use it to pay your debts, wages will not be exempted. You can get some certain exemptions in the category of tolls of trade it can be done in the case of books or any type of tools of your trade. The category of personal property allows exemptions in various provisions. The exemptions differ from one state to another so it is very important to study all the rules and regulations very carefully before going to file Bankruptcy. These exemptions are very mandatory which means you are not allowed to use the federal set of exemptions instead of the exemptions offered under the state laws.

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