January 23, 2017
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota, you can protect some or all of your property with Minnesota’s bankruptcy exemptions. The bankruptcy exemptions also play a role in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Read on to learn about property covered by Minnesota law.
Minnesota is one of the few states that allow debtors to choose between state and federal bankruptcy exemptions. A bankruptcy filer can examine both sets of exemptions and select the exemption scheme that better protects their assets.
Here are some of the most common exemptions available under Minnesota Statutes (Minn. Stat.).
The Minnesota homestead exemption protects up to $390,000 of equity in your home and land or up to $975,000 of equity if your land is used for agricultural purposes (up to 160 acres). The homestead exemption also allows you to protect insurance proceeds for damage to your home or proceeds from the sale of your home for up to one year after the sale, up to the maximum amount of the homestead exemption. You cannot double the homestead exemption. § § 510.01, 510.02
Minnesota law also protects the full value of a manufactured home, if you live in it. § 550.37, subd. 12
You can protect up to $69,000 of employee present or future payments under a stock, bonus, pension, profit-sharing, individual retirement account, Roth IRA, individual retirement annuity, simplified employee pension, or similar plan or contract on account of illness, disability, death, age, or length of service, plus any additional amount reasonably needed for the filer's support. Minn. Stat. §550.37, subd. 24.
The Minnesota motor vehicle exemption allows you to exempt up to $4,600 in one motor vehicle. If the motor vehicle has been modified at the cost of at least $3,450 to accommodate a disabled person, you may exempt up to $46,000 in the vehicle. Minn. Stat. §550.37, subd. 12a
You may exempt the following personal property:
Minn. Stat. §550.37 subds. 3-8
Insurance proceeds from the death or a spouse or parent, up to $46,000, plus an additional $11,500 for each dependent of the surviving spouse or child. Minn. Stat. § 550.37 subd. 10
Insurance proceeds from loss of or damage to exempt property. Minn. Stat. § 550.37 subd. 9
Personal injury or wrongful death recovery for injury to yourself or your relative. Minn. Stat. § 550.37 subd. 16
Insurance policy up to $9,200. Minn. Stat. § 550.37 subd. 23
100% of public assistance benefits. Minn. Stat. § 550.37, subd. 14
Unemployment benefits. Minn. Stat. § 268.192(2)
Worker’s compensation benefits. Minn. Stat. § 176.175(2)
Veteran’s benefits. Minn. Stat. § 550.38
Minnesota law protects up to 75% of your gross earnings, or 40 times the federal minimum hourly wage per week (whichever is greater). Minn. Stat. § 550.37, subd. 13
For more information about wage garnishment in Minnesota, check out our article on Minnesota Wage Garnishment Law.
Minnesota’s exemption amounts are adjusted in even numbered years, as long as the amounts have changed at least 10%. To make sure you have the most recent figures, be sure to check for any updates at the official website of the Minnesota Legislature.
For additional information on how to research and find the latest exemption amounts, see our Legal Research Center.