Montana law requires the use of state, rather than federal, bankruptcy exemptions. Some of the major exemptions under Montana law are listed below. However, the amounts listed may be higher if filing bankruptcy as a married couple. Please consult a bankruptcy attorney for more information on filing bankruptcy and declaring exemptions in Montana.

• Homestead (equity in dwelling used as residence)
– Up to $250,000
• Equity in automobile
– Up to $2,500 in one motor vehicle
• Personal property
– Up to $4,500 in furniture, appliances, animals, feed, crops, musical instruments, books, firearms, sporting goods, jewelry, and clothing, with value of up to $600 per item
– Health aids
– Burial plot  
– Some insurance or sales proceeds of exempt property
• Tools of the trade
– Up to $3,000 in trade implements/tools
– Military uniforms and arms
• Wages
– At least 75% of earned but unpaid wages
• Insurance
– Group life insurance policies/proceeds
– Life insurance proceeds if specifically exempt from creditors
– Medical, surgical, or hospital care benefits
– Annuities of up to $350 per month
– Fraternal benefit society benefits
– Hail insurance benefits
• Pensions
– Most ERISA benefits and IRA contributions
– Public employee retirement benefits
– University system, teacher, police, sheriff, judge, game warden, and firefighter retirement benefits
– Public employee retirement benefits
• Public benefits
Unemployment compensation
– Workers’ compensation
– Public assistance
– Vocational rehabilitation to the blind
– Crime victims’ compensation
– Veterans’ benefits
Social security
• Alimony and child support
– Both alimony and child support
• Other
– Business partnership property

Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Bankruptcy is a very complicated process, and it is important to file correctly for exemptions under applicable Montana law. A bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help you through the process, and make sure that all paperwork is filed correctly.