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Bankruptcy In South Dakota

Bankruptcy is generally governed by federal code so filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 has little variation between the 50 states, including South Dakota. Yet this does not necessarily mean that state law does not have any impact. For example, South Dakota law impacts property exemption levels, which tells you what possessions you can keep (as in Chapter 7) or what percentage of your outstanding debts you have to repay after everything is said and done. This is what it is essential to determine what your state law says, in addition to what federal law dictates.

South Dakota Mandatory Credit Counseling for Bankruptcy

In South Dakota, like many other states, before a lawyer can file paperwork for either Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, credit counseling must be completed by the person seeking to have his or her debts discharged. Each state bar association, including South Dakota’s, has a list of approved agencies. Completing this course is mandatory before filing bankruptcy papers in court; therefore it is in your interest to take one of these classes before or while concurrently shopping lawyers.

Where Do I File Bankruptcy in South Dakota?

You might wonder where you need to file your petition for bankruptcy. In South Dakota, federal bankruptcy courts are located in both Pierre and Sioux Falls. There are many rules, forms, fees, etc. that must be followed to properly file. It is highly recommended to seek the services of a competent bankruptcy lawyer that can help you with every step of the filing process.

Property Exemptions South Dakota Bankruptcy

During the filing process, you might wonder how much property is exempt from the reach of the court during bankruptcy proceeding. Like every other state, South Dakota has its own laws that determine how property is treated during both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy proceedings. Regarding one’s real property, or one’s home, mobile home, etc., South Dakota lets homeowners keep an unlimited amount for their real property. There are some stipulations on the real property exemption, specifically that property within a town must be 1 acre or less or a property outside of town has to be 160 acres of less if outside of an incorporated town. Regarding personal property, there are different levels of exemption for each type of personal possessions. However, since the law changes from time to time, it is recommended to consult a lawyer for the current levels.

South Dakota Bankruptcy Means Test

Filing for bankruptcy requires a means test. This entails comparing your income against the median income for a comparable household in South Dakota. According to recent reports, the median or middle income in South Dakota according to recent reports had it in at $36,750. If your income checks out to be less than the median income, you will be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings; if your income is more than the medium income, you will only be eligible to file Chapter 13 proceedings. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to pay back a percentage of your debts over a three year time frame.

As one can see, filing for bankruptcy is a complex and arduous task. This is why you need to speak with a lawyer and speak with one about your circumstances to determine if bankruptcy is right for you.

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