Updated May 20, 2016
In bankruptcy, a homestead exemption protects equity in your home. In South Carolina, the homestead exemption allows you to protect up to $58,255 of your home equity. Read on to learn more about the South Carolina homestead exemption.
For information about how the homestead exemption works in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, see The Homestead Exemption in Bankruptcy. For more articles on exemptions, see our Bankruptcy Exemptions area.
Under the South Carolina exemption system, homeowners may exempt up to $58,255 of their home or other property covered by the homestead exemption.
South Carolina allows married debtors filing a join bankruptcy to double the homestead exemption, so you and your spouse can protect up to $116,510 of value in your home.
In South Carolina, the homestead exemption applies to real and personal property that you or your dependents use as a residence, including your home, condominium, co-op, or mobile home. You may also use the South Carolina homestead exemption to protect a burial plot purchased for yourself or your dependents.
Some states allow bankruptcy filers to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions instead of the state exemptions. South Carolina is not one of those states. If you reside in South Carolina, you must use the state exemptions (S.C. Code Ann. Section 15-41-35).
(To learn more about which state exemptions apply to you, see Which Exemptions Can You Use in Bankruptcy?)
In South Carolina, the homestead exemption is automatic – you don’t have to file a homestead declaration in order to claim the homestead exemption in bankruptcy.
In South Carolina, if you use part of, but not all of, the homestead exemption, you may use up to $5,350 of the remaining amount to protect any other property you own (S.C. Code Ann. 15-41-30(A)(7)).
If you do not use the homestead exemption at all, you may also protect an additional $5,350 of your cash or liquid assets (S.C. Code Ann. Section 15-41-30(A)(5)).
South Carolina’s homestead exemption is found in the South Carolina Code at S.C. Code Ann. Section 15-41-30. To learn how to find state statutes, check out Nolo’s Laws and Legal Research area.
In accordance with S.C. Code Ann. 15-41-30(B), the South Carolina exemption amounts will be adjusted on July 1 of even calendar years. The exemption amounts will be adjusted to reflect the southeastern consumer price index for urban consumers, as provided by the United States Department of Labor.