Minnesota Bankruptcy Exemptions

The Minnesota bankruptcy exemptions chart, see below, details the property you can exempt or protect from creditors when you file bankruptcy in Minnesota. You may exempt any property that falls into one of the exemptions categories below, up to the dollar amount listed. You will be able to kept this exempted property after you file bankruptcy. Please note that there are certain debts which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy. (see Non-dischargeable Debts)

In Minnesota, you also have the choice of using the federal exemption statutes instead of your Minnesota exemptions.

An exemption limit applies to any equity you have in the property. Equity is the difference between the value of the property and what is owed on the property. For example, a car valued at $5000 with a loan of $4500 has an equity value of only $500.

If the property is secured by a loan, such as a car or home, and you are current on the payments and the equity is covered by your exemptions, you may elect to keep making payments on the loan and keep this property through the bankruptcy. If all the equity is not covered by your exemptions the trustee may elect to liquidate this asset and distribute the proceeds. Generally, in this case, you would be entitled to the value of your exemption in the asset as a cash payment.

Bankruptcy law allows married couples filing jointly to each claim a full set of exemptions, unless otherwise noted.

To keep non-exempt property, a debtor must generally pay the trustee the value of the non-exempt property.

When you file bankruptcy in Minnesota you may also use certain federal exemptions in addition to your Minnesota exemptions.


NOTE: § 550.37(4)(a) requires that certain exemptions be adjusted for inflation on July 1 of even-numbered years. The below exemptions include changes through 7/1/94. For additional information, contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce.



Real property, mobile home or manufactured home to $200,000 or, if the homestead is used primarily for agricultural purposes, $500,000; cannot exceed ½ acre in city or 160 acres elsewhere

510.01, 510.02,

550.37 subd. 12



Accident or disability proceeds


 Fraternal benefit society benefits64B.18
 Life insurance proceeds if beneficiary is spouse or child of insured to $32,000, plus $8000 per dependent550.37 subd. 10
 Police, fire or beneficiary association benefits550.37 subd. 11
 Unmatured life insurance contract dividends, interest or loan value to $6400 if insured is debtor or someone debtor depends on550.37 subd. 23


Earnings of minor child

550.37 subd. 15

 Property of business partnership323.24


ERISA-qualified benefits needed for support, which do not exceed $48,000 in present value

IRAs needed for support, which do not exceed $48,000 in present value

Private retirement benefits (only benefits building up)

Public employees

State employees

State troopers

550.37 subd. 24

550. 37 subd. 24





Personal property

Appliances, furniture, radio, phonographs & TV to $7200 value

550.37 subd. (4)(b)

 Bible, books & musical instruments550.37 subd. 2
 Burial plot; church pew or seat550.37 subd. 3
 Clothing (includes watch), food & utensils550.37 subd. 4(a)
 Motor vehicle to $3200 (up to $32,000 if vehicle has been modified for disability)550.37 subd. 12(a)
 Personal injury recoveries550.37 subd. 22
 Proceeds for damaged exempt property550.37 subds. 9, 16
 Wrongful death recoveries550.37 subd. 22

Public benefits

AFDC, supplemental assistance, general assistance, SSI/SSA

550.37 subd. 14

 Crime victims compensation611A.60
 Unemployment compensation268.17 subd. 2
 Veterans’ benefits550.38

Workers’ compensation


Tools of trade

total tools of trade (except teaching materials) can’t exceed $13000

Farm machines, implements, livestock, farm produce & crops of farmers to $13,000 total

550.37 subd. 5

 Teaching materials (including books, chemical apparatus) of public school teacher550.37 subd. 8
 Tools implements, machines, instruments, furniture, stock in trade & library to $8000 total550.37 subd. 6


Earned but unpaid wages, paid within 6 months of returning to work if debtor received welfare in the past

550.37 subd. 5

 Minimum 75% of earned but unpaid wages571.922
 Wages deposited into bank accounts for 20 days after depositing550.37 subd. 13
 Wages of released inmates paid within 6 months of release550.37 subd. 14
 All Earnings not subject to garnishment restrictions550.37 subd. 13




For more information on filing bankruptcy in Minnesota explore Minnesota Bankruptcy Law.