The North Dakota Homestead Exemption

Find out how much home equity you can protect if you file for bankruptcy in North Dakota.

In bankruptcy, a homestead exemption protects equity in your home. Here you’ll find specific information about the homestead exemption in North Dakota.

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.

The North Dakota Homestead Exemption Amount

Under the North Dakota exemption system, homeowners may exempt up to $100,000 of their home or other property covered by the homestead exemption.

North Dakota does not impose limits on the size of the homestead, but it is defined as the land and the house on the land. If homeowners own multiple plots or tracts of land, they must be contiguous (connected at some point) in order for the exemption to apply to them all.

No Doubling for Married Couples

Some states allow married couples filing jointly to double the homestead exemption, but in North Dakota married debtors may not claim double exemptions.

The Scope of the Homestead Exemption

In North Dakota, the homestead exemption applies to real property, including your home. It also applies to a housetrailer or mobile home. To claim the exemption, you must be a resident of North Dakota and you or your family must reside in the property.

Can You Use the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in North Dakota?

Some states allow bankruptcy filers to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions instead of the state exemptions. North Dakota is not one of those states. If you reside in North Dakota, you must use the state exemptions.

(To learn more about which state exemptions apply to you, see Which Exemptions Can You Use in Bankruptcy?)

Filing a Homestead Declaration

A homestead declaration is  a form filed with the county recorder’s office to put on record your right to a homestead exemption.  In North Dakota, you must file a homestead declaration before you file for bankruptcy in order to claim the homestead exemption. The homestead declaration must:

  • state that the person claiming the exemption resides on the property and is claiming it as the homestead
  • include a description of the property
  • include an estimate of the property's cash value, and  
  • be filed with the county recorder in the county in which the homestead sits.

Contact your county recorder for information on how to file a homestead declaration.  

Additional Information About the North Dakota Homestead Exemption

Here are a few more things to know about the North Dakota homestead exemption:

  • The homestead exemption does not prevent creditors holding mechanics’ or laborers’ liens or tax creditors from executing against the property.
  • If you don't use the homestead exemption, you can claim an exemption in any other property, up to 10,000.
  • North Dakota provides an absolute exemption for burial ground lots.

Finding the North Dakota Homestead Exemption Statute

North Dakota’s homestead exemption is found in the North Dakota state statutes at N.D. Cent. Code Sections 28-22-02 and 47-18-01. To learn how to find state statutes, check out Nolo’s Laws and Legal Research area.

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