What is a Claim for Exemptions?

A Claim for Exemptions is a legal paper which stops your creditor from taking some or all of your property to pay your bill.

How Can a Creditor Take My Property to Pay a Bill?

• When you owe someone money, that person or company is a creditor and may go to court and get a judgment.

• After a creditor gets a judgment, the judgment creditor may execute upon a debtor’s property by obtaining an Order of Execution from the clerk of court.

• The Order of Execution gives the sheriff the power and authority to levy upon a debtor’s property to satisfy the creditor’s judgment

• The sheriff must serve you with an Execution and Notice of Levy.

• Ten days after you receive the Notice of Levy, the sheriff can take your property and sell it to pay the bill, unless you present the sheriff with a Claim for Exemptions.

When Must You File the Claim for Exemptions?

You must give your Claim for Exemptions to the sheriff within ten days from the date you receive a Notice of Levy.

If you do not give the sheriff your Claim for Exemptions within ten days of receiving a Notice of Levy, the sheriff may take your property to satisfy the debt.

What Property is Protected?

The Claim for Exemptions protects:

• A motor vehicle up to a value of $10,000 in equity (value minus any money still owed)
• Certain pensions, annuities, retirement, and insurance plans/policies/benefits
• Social Security, Veterans Disability, and TANF benefits
• Unemployment benefits if not mixed with other funds
• $3,750 in other property if you are an unmarried person without dependents • $7,500 in other property if you are head of a household
• $25,000 in other property if you don’t own a homestead.

Property which is always exempt, even when unclaimed:
• Your homestead up to a value of $150,000 in equity (value minus any money still owed) or
• A trailer house or mobile home, if you are living in it • Crops and grains (within limits and with restrictions)
• All clothing, family pictures and burial lots.

Note: Creditors with a lien, mortgage, or secured interest can take certain property regardless of a claim for exemptions.

Your creditor may take more income and property when the judgment is for child support.

How Do I Estimate the Value of My Personal Property?

The protected value is the price you can get if you were to sell the items, not what you paid for the property when you purchased it, and not the replacement cost of the property.

Where Can I Find a Form to Complete My Claim for Exemptions?

The form is available on our website. If you need assistance, you should contact LSND’s Central Intake Unit at 1-800-634-5263.

Who Do I Contact With Additional Questions?

Seniors 60 and over Call:
1-866-621-9886

Others Call:
1-800-634-5263

Legal Services of North Dakota
Bismarck Law Office
418 E Broadway #25
Bismarck, ND 58501

You may apply for legal services by completing our online website application.