The Montana Homestead Exemption

If you file for bankruptcy in Montana, the homestead exemption protects a substantial amount of equity in your home.

By , Attorney · University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

In bankruptcy, a homestead exemption protects equity in your home. Here, you'll find specific information about the homestead exemption in Montana. For general information about how the homestead exemption works in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, read The Homestead Exemption in Bankruptcy.

How Much Is the Homestead Exemption in a Montana Bankruptcy?

In Montana, you'll use Montana's state exemptions because the federal bankruptcy exemptions aren't available (some states allow residents to choose between the two sets). You'll find Montana's homestead exemption amount listed below. Contact a local bankruptcy lawyer for current amounts and to find out about filing considerations for spouses.

Montana Homestead Exemption

Homestead exemption amount


Can spouses who file a joint bankruptcy double the exemption?


Homestead exemption law

Mont. Code Ann. §§ 70-32-104; 25-13-615

Other information

Protects up to 320 acres (more below); amounts are subject to change.

Where you'll find other exemptions

Montana Legislature

Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions

What Property Is Protected by the Montana Homestead Exemption?

Montana has one of the more generous exemptions. You'll be able to protect up to $378,560 of equity in a residence, including your home, condominium, or any other dwelling and appurtenances. The property can be up to 320 farm acres, a quarter of city acreage, or one residential acre outside a municipality. The homestead exemption also applies to sale, condemnation, and insurance proceeds for up to 18 months after the sale, condemnation, or loss.

When Can You Claim the Homestead Exemption in a Montana Bankruptcy?

You can file for bankruptcy in Montana after living there for over 180 days. However, you must live in Montana much longer before using Montana exemptions, at least 730 days before filing, to be exact. Otherwise, you'd use the previous state's exemptions.

But suppose you lived in multiple states during the two years before filing for bankruptcy. In that case, you'd use the exemptions of the state you lived in for most of the 180 days before the two-year period immediately preceding your filing. (11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(A).) Learn more about filing for bankruptcy after moving to a new state.

You'll also need to meet other timing and exemption requirements to prevent losing your home in bankruptcy. Find out more about keeping your home in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 or consult a bankruptcy lawyer.

Claiming the Montana Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption

In Montana, you must file a homestead declaration (a form filed with the county recorder's office to put on record your right to a homestead exemption) before you file for bankruptcy to claim the homestead exemption. Contact your county recorder for information on how to file a homestead declaration. Check for the form on Montana's State website.

Finding the Montana Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption Statute

You'll find Montana's homestead exemption on the Montana Legislature website in Mont. Code Ann. §§ 70-32-104; 25-13-615. Still, the best way to learn the current homestead exemption amount and protect your assets is by consulting with a local bankruptcy lawyer.

How Can I Avoid Common Mistakes When Using Montana's Homestead Exemption?

Bankruptcy mistakes, such as improperly disclosing or exempting assets, can be costly and often occur when filing without a bankruptcy lawyer. A local bankruptcy lawyer's knowledge and expertise will help you avoid losing your home and other valuable assets and ensure you maximize the homestead exemption.

Need More Bankruptcy Help?

Did you know Nolo has made the law easy for over fifty years? It's true, and we want to ensure you find what you need. Below you'll find more articles explaining how bankruptcy works. And don't forget that our bankruptcy homepage is the best place to start if you have other questions!

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Helpful Bankruptcy Sites

Department of Justice U.S. Trustee Program

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We wholeheartedly encourage research and learning, but online articles can't address all bankruptcy issues or the facts of your case. The best way to protect your assets in bankruptcy is by hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer.

Updated September 21, 2023

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