The South Dakota Homestead Exemption

If you file for bankruptcy in South Dakota, the generous homestead exemption allows you to protect the entire value of your home, although acreage limits exist.

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 South Dakota. For general information about how the homestead exemption works in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, read The Homestead Exemption in Bankruptcy. For more bankruptcy information, read Filing for Bankruptcy in South Dakota.

How Much Is the Homestead Exemption in a South Dakota Bankruptcy?

In South Dakota, you'll use South Dakota's homestead exemption to protect some or all of your home's equity. Although some states allow filers to use federal bankruptcy exemptions, South Dakota is not one of them. However, you can supplement South Dakota's state exemptions with the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.

To help you make an informed choice, we've listed the homestead exemption amount below. We've also included links to the federal and state exemption lists so you'll have an easier time deciding whether bankruptcy will work for you.

If you're married, keep in mind that spouses can double some exemption amounts, but not all. Find out about other filing considerations for spouses.

South Dakota Homestead Exemption

Homestead exemption amount

All equity in a qualifying property less than one acre in a town or 160 acres elsewhere.

Can spouses who file a joint bankruptcy double the exemption?


Homestead exemption law

S.D. Codified Laws §§ 43-31-1 through 43-31-5; 43-31-3(1); 43-45-3(1), (2)

Other information

Mobile home included; sales proceeds can be protected to a lesser amount (check current amounts); amounts subject to change periodically.

Where to find other exemptions.

Filing for Bankruptcy in South Dakota

Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions

What Property Is Protected by the South Dakota Homestead Exemption?

In South Dakota, homeowners can exempt an unlimited dollar amount of equity in real property, including a home or condominium. However, the South Dakota system does have acreage limitations. If the real property is located within a town, it cannot exceed more than one acre. If it is located anywhere else, it cannot exceed 160 acres.

A mobile home is also covered, but it cannot be larger than 240 square feet at the base. Also, it must be registered in South Dakota at least six months before claiming the exemption.

South Dakota has a few other rules that probably don't apply to you, but here they are just in case:

  • If you have two or more houses or mobile homes, you can only select one to keep and exempt as your homestead.
  • If the homestead contains minerals the United States government has claimed, the maximum size is reduced to 40 acres outside of a town.
  • Gold and silver mines, mills, smelters, and related machinery cannot be homesteads.

Other homestead protections help protect against foreclosure due to delinquent taxes. The amounts protected depend on age and other qualifications.

When Can You Use a Homestead Exemption in a South Dakota Bankruptcy?

You can file for bankruptcy in South Dakota after living there for over 180 days. However, you must live in South Dakota much longer before using South Dakota exemptions (if that's the set you choose to use), 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 years immediately preceding your filing. (11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(A).) Learn more about filing for bankruptcy after moving to a new state.

Consult a South Dakota Bankruptcy Lawyer

We've covered some of the most basic rules you'll encounter when protecting your home in bankruptcy. However, you must also meet other timing and exemption requirements to prevent losing your home. Find out more about keeping your home in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 or consult a bankruptcy lawyer.

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

United States Courts Bankruptcy Forms

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 October 4, 2023

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