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What can you keep when you file for bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2020 | Firm News |

Contrary to common belief, if you file for bankruptcy, you can keep some of your personal property and assets. North Dakota requires its residents to use the state exemptions to determine the assets they can retain, while some states let filers choose between federal and state exemptions. 

Review the available property exemptions if you are thinking about bankruptcy because of debt you cannot afford. 

Primary residence 

You can keep up to $100,000 in equity in your homestead. You can apply this exception to unlimited acreage, whereas many other state exemptions limit the size of the homestead plot. 

Personal property 

In addition to your homestead, North Dakota bankruptcy law allows you to keep: 

  • Up to $100,000 per qualifying retirement account up to a total of $200,000 
  • Up to $2,950 of equity in a motor vehicle or up to $32,000 for a vehicle modified for disability 
  • Unlimited books and religious texts 
  • Burial plots 
  • Up to a year of fuel and food 
  • Grain and other crops spanning up to 160 acres 
  • $5,000 in clothing 
  • $1,500 in tools and other work equipment 
  • Unlimited family pictures 
  • Wildcard exemption for those who do not use the grain and crops exemption ($3,750 for a single person or $7,500 for a head of household) 

If you and your spouse both plan to file for bankruptcy, you can double most of these exemptions. However, this rule does not apply to the homestead exemption, which remains at the same level both for single individuals and people who have families.