North Dakota State Bankruptcy Exemptions


47-18-01. Homestead exemption -- Area and value

The homestead of any person, whether married or unmarried, residing in this state shall consist of the land upon which the claimant resides, and the dwelling house on that land in which the homestead claimant resides, with all its appurtenances, and all other improvements on the land, the total not to exceed eighty thousand dollars in value, over and above liens or encumbrances or both. The homestead shall be exempt from judgment lien and from execution or forced sale, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. In no case shall the homestead embrace different lots or tracts of land unless they are contiguous.

28-25-11. Property applied -- Wages exempt -- Suspension of occupational or professional license for nonpayment of defaulted state guaranteed student loans

1. The judge may order any property of the judgment debtor not exempt from execution in the hands either of the judgment debtor or of any other person or due the judgment debtor to be applied towards the satisfaction of the judgment, except that the earnings of the debtor for the debtor's personal services at any time within sixty days next preceding the order cannot be so applied when it is made to appear, by the debtor's affidavit or otherwise, that the earnings are necessary for the use of a family supported wholly or partly by the debtor's labor.

2. If the debt for which a judgment is entered is for a guaranteed student loan, the court, after considering the factors in subsection 1, shall address and make specific findings on the issue of whether the judgment debtor has an occupational or a professional certificate license or permit issued by or on behalf of the state or any occupational or professional boards, which the judgment debtor is required to obtain before engaging in the judgment debtor's occupation or profession. The court, based on principles of fairness, including consideration of whether the judgment debtor has been unjustly enriched, may suspend a judgment debtor's certificate, license, or permit. Following a decision to suspend a judgment debtor's certificate, license, or permit, the court shall notify the judgment debtor that the decision becomes final thirty days after the notification unless the judgment debtor satisfies the entire outstanding payment due or makes regular payment on the judgment in a manner and at times satisfactory to the court. The court shall notify the proper licensing authority of the court's decision to suspend a judgment debtor's certificate, license, or permit. A certificate, license, or permit suspended by an order issued under this section may be reissued only by order of the court. An appeal by a judgment debtor who has had a certificate, license, or permit suspended under this section is an appeal from the court's order and may not be appealed to the licensing authority.

32-09.1-03. Restriction on garnishment of earnings

1. The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment may not exceed the lesser of:

a. Twenty-five percent of disposable earnings for that week.

b. The amount by which disposable earnings for that week exceed forty times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended [Pub. L. 95-151; 91 Stat. 1245; 29 U.S.C. 206] or any equivalent multiple thereof prescribed by regulation by the secretary of labor in case of earnings for any pay period other than a week, in effect at the time the earnings are payable.

2. The maximum amount subject to garnishment under subsection 1 for any workweek must be reduced by twenty dollars for each dependent family member residing with the garnishment debtor. Within ten days after receipt of the garnishment summons, the garnishment debtor shall provide to the employer a verified list of the names and social security numbers, if any, of the dependents who reside with the garnishment debtor. If the garnishment debtor fails to provide the list, it is conclusively presumed that the garnishment debtor claims no dependents.

3. The restrictions of subsection 1 do not apply in the case of:

a. Any order of any court for the support of any person.

b. Any order of any court of bankruptcy under chapter XIII of the Bankruptcy Act.

c. Any debt due for any state or federal tax.

4. The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person may not exceed:

a. Where such individual is supporting a spouse or dependent child other than a spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is used, fifty percent of the individual's disposable earnings for that week; and

b. Where such individual is not supporting a spouse or dependent child other than a spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is used, sixty percent of the individual's disposable earnings for that week;

except that, with respect to the disposable earnings of any individual for any workweek, the fifty percent specified in subdivision a must be deemed to be fifty-five percent and the sixty percent specified in subdivision b must be deemed to be sixty-five percent, if and to the extent that the earnings are subject to garnishment to enforce a support order with respect to a period which is prior to the twelve-week period which ends with the beginning of such workweek.

5. No court of this state may make, execute, or enforce any order or process in violation of this section.

28-22-02. Absolute exemption

The property mentioned in this section is absolutely exempt from all process, levy, or sale:

1. All family pictures.

2. A pew or other sitting in any house of worship.

3. A lot or lots in any burial ground.

4. The family Bible and all schoolbooks used by the family and all other books used as a part of the family library not exceeding in value one hundred dollars.

5. All wearing apparel and clothing of the debtor and his family.

6. The provisions for the debtor and the debtor's family necessary for one year's supply, either provided or growing, or both, and fuel necessary for one year.

7. The homestead as created, defined, and limited by law.

8. All crops and grain, both threshed and unthreshed, raised by the debtor on not to exceed one hundred sixty acres [64.75 hectares] of land in one tract occupied by the debtor, either as owner or tenant, as the debtor's home, but the provisions of this subsection in no way affect seed, thresher, or landlord liens, and if the debtor takes advantage of this subsection the debtor may not take any additional alternative exemptions provided under this chapter.

9. All insurance benefits resulting from insurance covering any or all of the absolute exemptions.

10. Any housetrailer or mobile home occupied as a residence by the debtor or the debtor's family, except that it is not exempt from process, levy, or sale for taxes levied on it pursuant to chapter 57-55.

28-22-03. Additional absolute exemption for head of a family

In addition to the absolute exemptions mentioned in section 28-22-02, except in subsection 8 thereof, the head of a family, personally or by his agent, may select from his other personal property, any goods, chattels, merchandise, money, and other personal property not exceeding in value the sum of five thousand dollars, which also is exempt from all attachment or mesne process, levy and sale upon execution, and any other final process issued from any court.

28-22-03.1. Additional absolute exemptions for residents

In addition to the exemptions from all attachment or process, levy and sale upon execution, and any other final process issued from any court, otherwise provided by law, a resident of the state may select:

1. In lieu of the homestead exemption, up to seven thousand five hundred dollars.

2. A motor vehicle exemption not to exceed one thousand two hundred dollars, or a motor vehicle exemption not to exceed thirty-two thousand dollars for a motor vehicle that has been modified at a cost of not less than one thousand five hundred dollars to accommodate an individual with a permanent physical disability who is the owner of that motor vehicle.

3. Pensions, annuity policies or plans, and life insurance policies that, upon the death of the insured, would be payable to the spouse, children, or any relative of the insured dependent, or likely to be dependent, upon the insured for support and which have been in effect for a period of at least one year; individual retirement accounts; Keogh plans, Roth individual retirement accounts under section 408A of the Internal Revenue Code [Pub. L. 105-34; 111 Stat. 825; 26 U.S.C. 408A], and simplified employee pension plans; and all other plans qualified under section 401 of the Internal Revenue Code [Pub. L. 83-591; 68A Stat. 134; 26 U.S.C. 401], and section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code [Pub. L. 93-406; 88 Stat. 959; 26 U.S.C. 408], and pension or retirement plans sponsored by nonprofit corporations or associations organized and operated exclusively for one or more of the purposes specified in 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3), and proceeds, surrender values, payments, and withdrawals from such pensions, policies, plans, and accounts, up to one hundred thousand dollars for each pension, policy, plan, and account with an aggregate limitation of two hundred thousand dollars for all pensions, policies, plans, and accounts. The dollar limit does not apply to the extent this property is reasonably necessary for the support of the resident and that resident's dependents, except that the pensions, policies, plans, and accounts or proceeds, surrender values, payments, and withdrawals are not exempt from enforcement of any order to pay spousal support or child support, or a qualified domestic relations order under sections 15-39.1-12.2, 39-03.1-14.2, and 54-52-17.6. As used in this subsection, "reasonably necessary for the support" means required to meet present and future needs, as determined by the court after consideration of the resident's responsibilities and all the present and anticipated property and income of the resident, including that which is exempt.

4. The debtor's right to receive, or property that is traceable to:

a. A payment, not to exceed seven thousand five hundred dollars, on account of the wrongful death of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor.

b. A payment, not to exceed seven thousand five hundred dollars, on account of personal bodily injury, not including pain and suffering or compensation for actual pecuniary loss, of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent.

c. A social security benefit, except that the benefit is not exempt for enforcement of any order for the support of a dependent child.

d. Veteran's disability pension benefits, not including military retirement pay, except that the benefits are not exempt from process levy or sale for enforcement of any order for the support of a dependent child.

28-22-04. Specific alternative exemptions

Instead of the exemption granted in section 28-22-03, the head of the family may select and choose the following property, which then is exempt:

1. All miscellaneous books and musical instruments for the use of the family not exceeding one thousand five hundred dollars in value.

2. All household and kitchen furniture, including beds, bedsteads, and bedding used by the debtor and his family, not exceeding one thousand dollars in value, and in case the debtor owns more than five hundred dollars worth of such property, he shall select therefrom such articles to the value of one thousand dollars, leaving the remainder subject to legal process.

3. Livestock and farm implements not exceeding four thousand five hundred dollars in value.

4. The tools and implements of any mechanic, whether a minor or of age, used and kept for the purpose of carrying on his trade or business, and in addition thereto stock in trade not exceeding one thousand dollars in value. The library and instruments of any professional person not exceeding one thousand dollars in value.

28-22-05. Exemptions of a single person

In addition to the absolute exemptions mentioned in section 28-22-02, except in subsection 8 thereof, a single person, in person or by his agent, may select from his other personal property, goods, chattels, merchandise, money, or other personal property not exceeding in value the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars, which is exempt.

28-22-16. Exemptions limited in certain cases

In addition to the absolute exemptions against process, on a judgment for forfeiture of an undertaking or bond or of recognizance taken in criminal cases, there must be allowed as exempt property, property of any kind to the value of five hundred dollars.

28-22-17. Nonavailability of federal bankruptcy exemptions

In accordance with the provisions of section 522(b) of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 [Pub. L. 95-598; 92 Stat. 2586; 11 U.S.C. 522(b)], residents of this state are not entitled to the federal exemptions provided in section 522(d) of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. The residents of this state are limited to claiming those exemptions allowable by North Dakota law.

28-22-19. Exemptions from legal process -- Public pensions, assistance, and awards

The following amounts are exempt from liability for debts of the person to or on account of whom the amounts are paid, and are not subject to seizure upon execution or other process:

1. All pensions or annuities or retirement, disability, death, or other benefits paid or payable by, or amounts received as a return of contributions and interest from, a retirement system established pursuant to state law by the state except as provided by sections 15-39.1-12.2, 39-03.1-14.2, 54-52-17.6, and 54-52.2-03.3, a state agency, a political subdivision of the state, or a firefighters relief association for retirement, annuity, pension, disability benefit, or death benefit purposes.

2. All awards made pursuant to chapter 54-23.4 as compensation for victims of crimes.

3. All payments of assistance as aid to dependent children pursuant to chapter 50-09.

26.1-33-36. Rights in life policies exempt from claims of creditors

The surrender value of any life insurance policy which, upon the death of the insured, would be payable to the spouse, children, or any relative of the insured dependent, or likely to be dependent, upon the insured for support, is exempt absolutely from the claims of creditors of the insured to the extent provided in section 28-22-03.1. No creditor of the insured, and no court or officer of a court acting for any such creditors, may elect for the insured to have the life insurance policy surrendered or in anywise converted into money, and no life insurance policy or property right in the policy belonging to the holder, except for the value thereof in excess of the amount provided by section 28-22-03.1, may be subject to seizure under any process of any court under any circumstance.

26.1-33-40. Avails of life policy payable to deceased or to the deceased's heirs, personal representatives, or estate -- Exemption -- Distribution

The avails of a life insurance policy or of a contract payable by any mutual aid or benevolent society, when made payable to the deceased, to the personal representatives of the deceased, to the deceased's heirs, or to the deceased's estate, is not subject to the debts of the decedent upon the death of the insured or member of the society except by special contract. The avails must be inventoried as a part of the estate of the decedent and must be considered as part of the general assets of the estate. The insured may transfer the avails of the life insurance policy or contract either by will or by contract. Nothing contained in this section affects, in any manner, any life insurance policy or beneficiary certificate which is made payable to a designated person, including the spouse of the insured, or to persons or to members of a family designated as a class, such as "all children" or "all brothers and sisters", even though the members of the class are not designated by name; or permits any insured to dispose of the avails of a contract by a mutual or fraternal society by will to anyone who could not be a beneficiary in the contract under the charter or bylaws of the society.

52-06-30. Assignment of benefits prohibited -- Benefits exempt from remedies for collection of debt -- Exception

1. No assignment, pledge, or encumbrance of any right to benefits which are or may become due or payable under the North Dakota Unemployment Compensation Law is valid. Such rights to benefits are exempt from levy, execution, attachment, or any other remedy provided for the collection of a debt. Benefits received by any individual, as long as they are not mingled with other funds of the recipient, are exempt from any remedy for the collection of all debts except debts incurred for necessaries furnished to the individual, that person's spouse, or dependents during the time when the individual was unemployed. No waiver of any exemption provided for in this subsection is valid. However, this subsection does not impair the operation of subsection 2 or section 52-06-06.1 or the continuous levy authorized under Public Law No. 105-34, section 1024 [111 Stat. 923-924; 26 U.S.C. 6331(h)].

2. An individual filing a new claim for unemployment compensation benefits, at the time of filing the claim, must be advised that:

a. Unemployment compensation is subject to federal income tax and state income tax;

b. Requirements exist pertaining to estimated federal and state tax payments;

c. The individual may elect to have federal income tax deducted and withheld from the individual's payment of unemployment compensation benefits at the amount specified in the federal Internal Revenue Code;

d. The individual, having elected to have federal income tax withheld, may also elect to have state income tax deducted and withheld from the individual's payment of unemployment compensation at a rate determined by the tax commissioner pursuant to section 57-38-59; and

e. The individual is permitted to change a previously elected withholding status. Amounts deducted and withheld from unemployment compensation must remain in the unemployment fund until transferred to the federal and state taxing authority as payment of income tax. The bureau shall follow all procedures specified by the United States department of labor, the federal internal revenue service, and the tax commissioner pertaining to the deducting and withholding of income tax. Amounts must be deducted and withheld under this section only after amounts are deducted and withheld for any overpayments of unemployment compensation, child support obligations, or any other amounts required to be deducted and withheld under this chapter.

65-05-29. Assignment of claims void -- Claims exempt

Any assignment of a claim for compensation under this title is void. All compensation and claims therefor are exempt from claims of creditors except any of the following:

1. A child support obligation ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

2. A claim by job service North Dakota for reimbursement of unemployment benefits, for the amount that was paid by job service North Dakota during the period for which the claimant is found eligible for temporary total or permanent total disability benefits, not to exceed the disability award actually made by the organization.

3. A claim by the organization for any payments made due to:

a. Clerical error, mistake of identity, innocent misrepresentation by or on behalf of the recipient, or any other circumstance of a similar nature, all not induced by fraud, in which cases the recipient shall repay it or recoupment of any unpaid amount may be made from any future payments due to the recipient on any claim with the organization;

b. An adjudication by the organization or by order of the board or any court, if the final decision is that the payment was made under an erroneous adjudication, in which cases the recipient shall repay it or recoupment of any unpaid amount may be made from any future payments due to the recipient on any claim with the organization;

c. Fraud, in which case the recipient shall repay the payment or the unpaid amount of the sum may be recouped from any future payments due to the recipient on any claim with the organization; or

d. Overpayment due to application of section 65-05-09.1.

32-21-04. Recovery exempt from decedent's debts

The amount recovered shall not be liable for the debts of the decedent, but shall inure to the exclusive benefit of the decedent's heirs at law in such shares as the judge before whom the case is tried shall fix in the order for judgment, and for the purpose of determining such shares, the judge after the trial may make any investigation which the judge deems necessary.

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