South Carolina law requires that state bankruptcy exemptions be used, because the state has opted out of the federal exemptions.  Many of South Carolina’s normal bankruptcy exemptions are listed below. However, the amounts listed may be higher if filing bankruptcy as a married couple. If you would like more information on how to file bankruptcy in South Carolina, please consult an attorney.  

• Homestead (equity in dwelling used as residence)
– Up to $58,225 in a residence or burial plot 
• Equity in automobile
– $5,825 in motor vehicle
• Personal property
– Up to $4,650 in household goods, furniture, appliances, books, clothing, musical instruments, animals, and/or crops
– Up to $1,175 in jewelry
– Health aids
• Tools of the trade
– Up to $1,750 in implements, books, and other professional tools
• Cash
– If no homestead or burial exemption, up to $5,825 in cash or liquid assets
• Insurance
– Up to $50,000 in group life insurance proceeds
– Any life insurance or annuity contract that is specifically exempt from creditors
– Life insurance benefits after a death
– Fraternal benefit society benefits
– Most unmatured life insurance contracts
– Up to $4,500 in dividends, interest, cash value of life insurance
– Accident, disability, or illness benefits
• Pensions and retirement
– Tax exempt retirement accounts
– ERISA and pension fund benefits
– Public employee pensions
– Assembly member, police, firefighter, judge, and solicitor pensions
• Public benefits
– Public assistance
Unemployment compensation
– Workers’ compensation
– Veterans’ benefits
– Social security
Crime victims’ compensation
• Alimony and child support
– Both alimony and child support
• Other
– College investment program trust funds
– Personal injury/wrongful death proceeds if from person relied on for support
– Property in a business partnership
• Wildcard (exemption for personal property of your choice)
– Up to $5,825 in any property

Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

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