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Montana Asset Protection Laws

Filed under Running A Business.

These assets are exempted from a state court or bankruptcy proceeding in Montana.

Homestead: Real estate or mobile home up to $250,000. Proceeds also exempt for 18 months following sale. Must record homestead declaration before attempted sale.

Pensions and Retirement Benefits: ERISA-qualified benefits. Funds exempt for all public employees. IRA exemptions for conventional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE plans. No exemption for ERISA-qualified or IRA amounts deposited within one year filing, which are in excess of 15% of income for that one year. Roth IRAs and regular IRAs up to $1,245,000 per person. Warning: No protection for IRAs that are established by an "insider" of the debtor. This provision could eliminate the protection otherwise offered to small business owners by SEP and SIMPLE plans.

Insurance: Annuity up to $350 per month. Disability or illness benefits. Medical, surgical or hospital benefits. Group life insurance. Life insurance proceeds if prohibited to be used to pay beneficiary's creditors. Life insurance proceeds if annual premiums do not exceed $500. Unmatured life insurance contracts to $4,000. Fraternal society benefits.

Personal Property: Appliances, household furnishings, goods, animals, crops, musical instruments, books, firearms, clothing and jewelry up to $600 each, $4,500 total. Cooperative association shares up to $500 value. Motor vehicle up to $2,500. Burial place. Food and provisions for 3 months. Proceeds for damaged or lost exempt property for 6 months after received.

Tools of Trade: Tools and implements up to $3,000.

Miscellaneous: Business partnership property. Alimony. Child support.

Wages: 75% of debtor's weekly disposable earnings or excess of disposable wages over 30 times federal minimum wage is exempt, subject to court ordered support claims.

Public Benefits: Social Security. Unemployment compensation. Workers' compensation. Vocational rehabilitation to the blind. Veteran's benefits. Aid to aged and disabled. AFDC. Crime victim's compensation.

Wild Card: None.

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