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Montana Bankruptcy Exemptions


Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions NOT Available in Montana

Montana has opted out of the Federal Exemptions (see below)

Montana Bankrupcty Exemptions Summary

(details below...)

Homestead

Real property or mobile home you occupy to $250,000; sale, condemnation, or insurance proceeds exempt for 18 months
Must record homestead declaration before filing for bankruptcy

  (more...)

Personal Property

Appliances, household furnishings, goods, animals with feed, crops, musical instruments, books, firearms, sporting goods, clothing, & jewelry to $600 per item, $4,500 total
Implements, books, & tools of trade to $3,000 25-13-609(3) Uniforms, arms, accoutrements needed to carry out government functions

   (more...)

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Montana Bankruptcy Exemptions

Does Montana Adjust Exemptions for Inflation?

Some states adjust exemption amounts for inflation. Montana does not.

Can I Use the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in Montana?

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Available?

No. Mont. Code Ann. § 31-2-106

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Background of state "opt out" laws

Every state has a list of exemptions that protect specific types and amounts of property from collections on judgements within that state.

When bankruptcy law was first modernized 50 years ago, the proposal was to have a federal list of bankruptcy exemptions apply uniformly across all 50 states. Many states objected to this idea, because state collection law had traditionally ruled that issues of collections and "asset protection" were matters of state, not federal law. So a compromise was struck, that allows states to "opt out" of the federal bankruptcy exemptions. 

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal "non-bankruptcy" exemptions are available in every state

You are entitled to use so-called federal "non-bankruptcy" exemptions in addition to your state law exemptions.

Non-bankruptcy exemptions are those exemption provisions of U.S. law that are NOT part of the bankruptcy code section section 522(d).

The four most significant non-bankruptcy exemptions are for

  • Wages (a general cap on what percentage of your wages can be garnished),
  • Social Security benefits,
  • Civil Service benefits,
  • Veterans Benefits

Other so called "non-bankruptcy" exemptions mostly deal with various benefits to government and military personnel, with a few odd laws regarding specially-regulated labor markets such as railroad workers, seamen, and longshoremen.

 

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

Citations and links to primary law and secondary sources are provided for those who wish to do further research. Every effort has been made to make this information up to date and accurate, but laws can and do change without notice. Persons relying on this information are responsible for confirming its timeliness and accuracy before relying on it. (This information was updated for April 2019.)

Also bear in mind that these brief summaries do not list every detail or exception to these exemptions. For example, there are often exceptions for collection of child support debt and/or taxes. These listings are designed to inform you of laws that exist for your benefit, so that you may exercise what rights you may have.

Finally, this website is intended to provide information only. It cannot answer whether your property does or does not qualify for a specific exemption.

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Homestead

Montana Homestead Exemption

Montana Homestead Exemption 

Real property or mobile home you occupy to $250,000; sale, condemnation, or insurance proceeds exempt for 18 months
Must record homestead declaration before filing for bankruptcy

Amount Joint amount

250,000

250,000

NOTE: Residency Requirement Caps Maximum Homestead at $160,375 if you've recently moved to a State that allows more than that

Under the 2005 bankruptcy law, you must be have lived in the state for at least 40 months (3 years + 4 months) before you can claim any homestead protection greater than $160,375. (If your state's exemption offers less than this amount, the law is irrelevant to you.) .

IF you are moving to another state, OR you moved to Montana within in the last two years, click here.

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Homestead Exemptions (available in every State)

These are exemptions under federal law, and not part of the bankruptcy code, so states cannot "opt out" from these exemptions.

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US Bankruptcy Code § 522(d) Homestead Exemption

Can a Montana debtor use the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of Montana exemptions?

No. Mont. Code Ann. § 31-2-106

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d) are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while,
  • or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Home Valuation tool

Just add your street address to get an estimate of the value of your house, and all others in your neighborhood. (Note: Does not serve all areas, and valuations are imperfect estimates only.)

Homestead Exemptions in Other States

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TBE

Does Montana Recognize Tenancy by the Entirety?

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Tenancy By The Entirety in Other States

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Insurance

Montana Insurance Exemptions

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Insurance Exemptions (available in all states)

US Bankruptcy Code § 522 Insurance Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Code Exemptions under section 522 are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Montana allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mont. Code Ann. § 31-2-106

Insurance Exemptions in Other States

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Misc

Montana Miscellaneous Exemptions

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US Bankruptcy Code § 522 Miscellaneous Exemptions

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Does Montana allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mont. Code Ann. § 31-2-106

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if
  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

 

Miscellaneous Exemptions in Other States

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Pensions

Montana Pension Exemptions

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Pension & Retirement Exemptions (available in every state)

Federal Bankruptcy Code § 522(d) Pension & Retirement Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions under 11 U.S.C are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Montana allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mont. Code Ann. § 31-2-106

Pension & Retirement Exemptions in Other States

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Personal Property

Montana Motor Vehicle Exemption & Other Personal Property Exemptions

Montana Motor Vehicle Exemption

Motor vehicle to $2,500

Montana Personal Property Exemptions

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Personal Property Exemptions (available in every state)

Federal Bankruptcy Code § 522(d) Personal Property Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Montana allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mont. Code Ann. § 31-2-106

Personal Property Exemptions in Other States

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Public Benefits

Public Benefits Exemptions for Montana

Federal "non-bankruptcy" Public Benefits exemptions (available in all states)

Federal Bankruptcy Code §522(d) Public Benefits Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Montana allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mont. Code Ann. § 31-2-106

Public Benefits Exemptions in Other States

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Tools of Trade

Montana Tools of Trade Exemptions

Montana Tools of Trade Exemptions

Federal non-bankrupcty Tools of Trade Exemptions

US Bankruptcy Code § 522 (d) Tools of Trade Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Montana allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mont. Code Ann. § 31-2-106

Tools of Trade Exemptions in Other States

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Wages

Montana Wage Garnishment

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Law (available in all states)

Federal "non-bankruptcy" law also offers exemption protection for wages.

US Bankruptcy Code § 522 Wage Garnishment Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Montana allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mont. Code Ann. § 31-2-106

Wage Garnishment in Other States

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WildCard

Montana WildCard Exemption

None

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Federal Bankruptcy Wildcard Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Montana allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mont. Code Ann. § 31-2-106

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WildCard Exemptions in Other States

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