South Dakota Bankruptcy Exemptions

There are provisions for certain types of South Dakota bankruptcy exemptions when someone files for bankruptcy in this state under chapter 7. Though a few states allow debtors to use the federal set of exemptions to replace the state-specified exemptions, this option is not available for those filing for bankruptcy in the state of South Dakota. However, like the majority of other states, you are allowed to use the federal supplemental exemptions in conjunction with the exemptions offered under the state laws.


South Dakota bankruptcy exemptions are available in the wildcard category up to a certain value depending upon whether you are the head of the family or non-head of the family. If the debtor is not the head of the family, the maximum exemption that can be availed is $4000. However, if you are head of the family, you can claim up to $6000 of exemptions in any property of your choice.


As the South Dakota bankruptcy laws, the wages for prisoners in work programs can be exempted in full. In general, you can keep the wages earned sixty days before filing your petition for bankruptcy up to an extent that is “reasonably” needed for family support. Here, it is important to note that it is either up to the court or to the bankruptcy trustee appointed for your case to decide what is “reasonable” in your case.

Public Benefits

South Dakota bankruptcy exemptions can be availed for certain types of public benefits that include Workers’ compensation, Unemployment compensation, Public assistance, and Crime victims’ compensation.

Personal Properties

Different types of personal assets and properties can be exempted in the following manner.

- Fuel and food up to a certain quantity that should last for at least twelve months
- 100% of family pictures and clothing
- 100% in Cemetery association property, church pew, and Burial plots
- Schoolbooks and bible are also exemptible in full
- Up to $200 in other books (excluding bible and schoolbooks)

Retirement Savings And Pensions

Public employees and to City employees are allowed to exempt 100% of pensions they are receiving. Besides that, up to $1,000,000 (in terms of income & distribution) can be exempted in all types of ERISA-qualified benefits, including Roth IRAs and IRAs.


You can avail South Dakota bankruptcy exemptions for insurance policies and proceeds in the following manner.

- 100% life insurance proceeds provided there is specific clause in the policy contract that strictly prohibits the use of the proceeds to pay off the debts owed by the insurer.
- Up to $20000 in health benefits
- If the beneficiary is surviving child or spouse, up to $10000 of life insurance proceeds can be exempted.
- 100% of Fraternal benefit society benefits
- Up to $20,000 in life insurance and endowment policy proceeds
- Up to $250 on a monthly basis from annuity contract proceeds


The following legal provisions are applicable when it comes to South Dakota bankruptcy exemptions in homestead properties.

- Silver or gold mines are prohibited to be exempted in this category.
- Homestead exemption can be claimed by child or spouse of a deceased owner
- The debtor must file a homestead declaration in order to be eligible for homestead exemptions in South Dakota.
- There is no maximum limit (unlimited value can be exempted) in terms of equity for mobile homes or any other real property, but the property must be registered in state at least 180 days prior to petition filing and it must be larger than 240 sq. ft. at its base.
- Certain area wise limitations apply, as per which the maximum area of property that is exemptible in this category is one acre in town or one hundred and sixty acres elsewhere.
- Up to $30000 can be exempted from the sales proceeds for a period of twelve months. (the maximum limit is $70000 for a debtor who is a widower or a widow or over seventy years of age)
- There are no provisions for double exemptions for married couple who file for bankruptcy through a joint petition.

It is very important for you to keep in mind that the exact details of the exemptions that might be applicable to your case will depend on the different types of factors involved in your case. Therefore, you are advised to consult with a qualified and experienced South Dakota bankruptcy attorney and discuss your case in order to get a more accurate evaluation on South Dakota bankruptcy exemptions.

Custom Search

Tags: ,
Posted in Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Exemptions | No Comments »

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.