South Dakota law uses state, rather than federal, bankruptcy exemptions. Many of the major South Dakota exemptions are listed below. If filing bankruptcy as a married couple, the amounts listed may be higher. Please consult a bankruptcy attorney for further information on filing bankruptcy in South Dakota.  

• Homestead (equity in dwelling used as residence)
– Unlimited exemption, including for mobile homes, for up to one acre in a town or 160 acres in a rural area
• Personal property
– Food and fuel to last up to one year
– Clothing
– Up to $200 in bibles, school books, and family library
– Pictures
– Church pew
– Professionally prescribed health aids
– Burial plot and cemetery association property
• Wages
– 60 days of earnings if needed for support
– Prisoner work program wages
• Insurance
– Life insurance benefits that specifically cannot be used to pay creditors
– Up to $10,000 in life insurance proceeds to spouse or child
– Up to $20,000 in health benefits
– Up to $20,000 in proceeds/cash value of life insurance policy or endowment
– Up to $250/month in annuities
– Fraternal benefit society benefits
• Pensions and retirement
– Tax exempt retirement accounts
– ERISA benefits up to $1,000,000
– Public and city employee pensions
• Public benefits
Workers’ compensation
– Unemployment benefits
Crime victims’ compensation
– Public assistance
– Veterans’ benefits
– Social security
• Alimony and child support
– Alimony, maintenance, or support up to $750 a month
• Other
– Property of business partnership
• Wildcard (exemption for personal property of your choice)
– Up to $5,000 of cash or property, or up to  $7,000 if head of household

Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Bankruptcy is a complex process, and it is important to file exemptions correctly under South Dakota law.  A bankruptcy lawyer can help you to navigate the South Dakota bankruptcy system correctly, and to avoid any filing errors.