Sec. 09.38.010. Homestead exemption.
(a) An individual is entitled to an exemption as a homestead of the individual's interest in property in this state used as the principal residence of the individual or the dependents of the individual, but the value of the homestead exemption may not exceed $54,000.
(b) If property owned by the entirety or in common is used by one or more individual owners or their dependents as their principal residence, each owner is entitled to a homestead exemption of that owner's interest in the property as provided in (a) of this section. The aggregate value of multiple homestead exemptions allowable with respect to a single living unit may not exceed $54,000. If there are multiple owners of property exempt as a homestead, the value of the exemption of each individual owner may not exceed the individual owner's pro rata portion of $54,000.
(c) If property that includes a homestead is sold under an execution, the sale becomes effective upon confirmation by order of the court. The court shall enter the order of confirmation unless, within 60 days after the sale, the individual repurchases the property under this section or the court extends the time for confirmation upon the filing of a timely motion by a party in interest. The individual may repurchase property, including that individual's homestead, at a sale on execution before confirmation by paying into court the costs of the sale plus the lesser of either (1) the difference between the highest bid and the amount of the exemption in the property, or (2) the amount of the creditor's claim. If the individual does not exercise the repurchase right under this subsection, the clerk of the court shall first remit an amount determined to be exempt to the individual from the proceeds of sale and the balance less the cost of the sale to the creditor. For the purpose of collecting an amount remaining unpaid on a judgment after repurchase of property by an individual under this subsection, the creditor or the creditor's assignee may not make another levy on the property repurchased.
(d) Upon entry of the order of confirmation under (c) of this section and expiration of the time period for repurchase, the clerk may execute a deed to the property and when delivered it shall be sufficient to convey all title of the individual in the premises sold to the purchaser at the sale.
Sec. 09.38.015. Property exempt without limitation.
(a) An individual is entitled to exemption of the following property:
(1) a burial plot for the individual and the individual's family;
(2) health aids reasonably necessary to enable the individual or a dependent to work or to sustain health;
(3) benefits paid or payable for medical, surgical, or hospital care to the extent they are or will be used to pay for the care;
(4) an award under AS 18.67 (Violent Crimes Compensation Board) or a crime victim's reparations act of another jurisdiction;
(5) benefits paid or payable as a longevity bonus under AS 47.45;
(6) compensation or benefits paid or payable and exempt under federal law;
(7) liquor licenses granted under AS 04;
(8) tuition credit or savings accounts under a higher education savings account established under AS 14.40.802 or an advance college tuition savings contract authorized under AS 14.40.809 (a);
(9) a permanent fund dividend to the extent allowed under AS 43.23.065;
(10) [Repealed, Sec. 4 ch 89 SLA 2005].
(11) benefits paid or payable under AS 47.45.301 - 47.45.309.
(b) The right to benefits held by the state on behalf of an individual that may become payable by reason of disability, unemployment, or illness, amounts held in the teachers', judicial, or public employees' retirement system, or in the elected public officers' retirement system under former AS 39.37, and child support collections made by the child support services agency are exempt.
(c) Property of the state, a municipality, and of the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority or another state public corporation is exempt.
(d) Real property held by a cemetery association established under AS 10.30 for the purpose of a cemetery and not exceeding 80 acres is exempt.
(e) Money held in an escrow account under AS 06.60.360 is exempt.
Sec. 09.38.017. Exemption of retirement plan interests and payments.
(a) In addition to the exemption under AS 09.38.015 (b), the following are exempt from a claim of an individual's creditor:
(1) the interest of the individual in a retirement plan; and
(2) the money or other assets payable to the individual from a retirement plan.
(b) The exemptions provided by (a) of this section do not apply to a contribution made by an individual to a retirement plan within 120 days before the individual files for bankruptcy.
(c) The exemptions provided by (a) of this section do not prevent the payment of benefits under a retirement plan to an alternate payee under a qualified domestic relations order. In this subsection, "qualified domestic relations order" has the meaning given in 26 U.S.C. 414(p).
(d) A retirement plan exempt from claims under (a) of this section is conclusively presumed to be a spendthrift trust under this section.
(e) In this section,
(1) "alternate payee" has the meaning given in 26 U.S.C. 414(p)(8);
(2) "individual" means an individual who is a participant in, a beneficiary of, or an alternate payee of a retirement plan;
(3) "retirement plan" means a retirement plan that is qualified under 26 U.S.C. 401(a), 26 U.S.C. 403(a), 26 U.S.C. 403(b), 26 U.S.C. 408, 26 U.S.C. 408A, or 26 U.S.C. 409 (Internal Revenue Code).
Sec. 09.38.020. Exemptions of personal property subject to value limitations.
(a) An individual is entitled to an exemption in property not to exceed an aggregate value of $3,000 chosen by the individual from the following categories of property:
(1) household goods and wearing apparel reasonably necessary for one household;
(2) if reasonably held for the personal use of the individual or a dependent, books and musical instruments; and
(3) family portraits and heirlooms of particular sentimental value to the individual.
(b) An individual is entitled to exemption of jewelry, not exceeding $1,000 in aggregate value, if held for the personal use of the individual or a dependent.
(c) An individual is entitled to exemption, not exceeding $2,800 in aggregate value, of implements, professional books, and tools of the trade.
(d) An individual is entitled to the exemption of pets to the extent of a value not exceeding $1,000.
(e) An individual is entitled to an exemption of one motor vehicle to the extent of a value not exceeding $3,000 if the full value of the motor vehicle does not exceed $20,000.
Sec. 09.38.025. Exemption of unmatured life insurance and annuity contracts.
(a) Except as provided in this section or AS 09.38.017 , an individual is entitled to exemption of unmatured life insurance and annuity contracts owned by the individual. If the contracts have accrued dividends and loan values available to the individual aggregating more than $10,000, a creditor may obtain a court order requiring the individual debtor to pay the creditor, and authorizing the creditor on the debtor's behalf to obtain payment of, the amount of the accrued dividends and loan values in excess of $10,000 or the amount of the creditor's claim, whichever is less.
(b) A judgment creditor or other claimant of an insurer may not levy upon any of the assets or securities held in this state as a deposit for the protection of the insurer's policyholders or policyholders and creditors. Deposits under AS 21.09.270 may be levied upon if provided in the order of the director of insurance, Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, under which the deposit is made.
Sec. 09.38.030. Exemption of earnings and liquid assets.
(a) Except as provided in (b), (c), (f), and (h) of this section and AS 09.38.050 , an individual debtor is entitled to an exemption of the individual debtor's weekly net earnings not to exceed $350. The weekly net earnings of an individual are determined by subtracting from the weekly gross earnings all sums required by law or court order to be withheld. The weekly net earnings of an individual paid on a monthly basis are determined by subtracting from the monthly gross earnings of the individual all sums required by law or court order to be withheld and dividing the remainder by 4.3. The weekly net earnings of an individual paid on a semi-monthly basis are determined by subtracting from the semi-monthly gross earnings all sums required by law or court order to be withheld and dividing the remainder by 2.17.
(b) An individual who does not receive earnings either weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly is entitled to a maximum exemption for the aggregate value of cash and other liquid assets available in any month of $1,400, except as provided in (f) and (h) of this section and in AS 09.38.050. The term "liquid assets" includes deposits, securities, notes, drafts, accrued vacation pay, refunds, prepayments, and receivables, but does not include permanent fund dividends before or after receipt by the individual.
(c) A creditor may levy upon earnings exempt under (a) and (b) of this section if the creditor's claim is
(1) enforceable against exempt property under AS 09.38.065 (a)(1) or (3); or
(2) enforceable under an order of a court of bankruptcy under 11 U.S.C. 1301 - 1330 (Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978).
(d) If the individual debtor is a nonresident, the limitations on garnishment imposed under 15 U.S.C. 1673 apply.
(e) The following property, unless exempt without limitation under AS 09.38.015 or 09.38.017, upon receipt by and while it is in the possession of the individual, shall be treated as earnings, income, cash, or other liquid assets under this section:
(1) benefits paid by reason of disability, illness, or unemployment;
(2) money or property received for alimony or separate maintenance;
(3) proceeds of insurance, a judgment, or a settlement, or other rights accruing as a result of bodily injury of the individual or of the wrongful death or bodily injury of another individual of whom the individual was or is a dependent;
(4) proceeds or benefits paid or payable on the death of an insured, if the individual was the spouse or a dependent of the insured; and
(5) amounts paid under a stock bonus, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, or similar plan or contract, providing benefits by reason of age, illness, disability, or length of service.
(f) The state may execute on a judgment awarded to the state or on a judgment of restitution on behalf of a victim of a crime or a delinquent act, and an officer or agent of the state or a state employee, or a former officer, agent, or employee of the state may execute on a judgment to that person against a party to an action who is incarcerated for a criminal conviction by sending a notice of levy to the correctional facility in which the person is incarcerated. All money in an incarcerated person's account at a correctional facility is available for disbursement under a notice of levy under this subsection, in the following order of priority:
(1) to support the dependents of the incarcerated person and to provide child support payments as required by AS 25.27;
(2) to satisfy restitution or fines ordered by a court to be paid by the incarcerated person;
(3) to pay a civil judgment entered against the incarcerated person as a result of that person's criminal conduct;
(4) to reimburse the state for an award made for violent crimes compensation under AS 18.67 as a result of the incarcerated person's criminal conduct;
(5) to satisfy other judgments entered against a prisoner in litigation against the state; in this paragraph, "litigation against the state" has the meaning given in AS 09.19.100 .
(g) A creditor may levy upon earnings or liquid assets exempt under (a) or (b) of this section if the money is held outside a correctional facility and the claim is for court-ordered restitution to be paid by a prisoner to the creditor under a judgment for conviction of a crime or an adjudication of delinquency.
(h) In this section,
(1) "correctional facility" has the meaning given in AS 33.30.901 ;
(2) "official detention" has the meaning given in AS 11.81.900 (b);
(3) "prisoner" means a person held under the authority of state or municipal law in official detention.
Sec. 09.38.035. Continuing lien on wages.
(a) In the case of a garnishment of earnings, when the garnishee's answer reflects that the defendant is employed by the garnishee, the judgment or balance due as reflected on the writ of garnishment shall become a lien on earnings due at the time of service of the writ to the extent that they are not exempt from garnishment, and that lien shall continue as to subsequent nonexempt earnings until the total subject to the lien equals the amount stated on the writ of garnishment, except that the lien on subsequent earnings shall terminate sooner if the employment relationship is terminated, if the underlying judgment is vacated, modified, or satisfied in full, or if the writ is dismissed.
(b) A garnishee shall pay into court all nonexempt earnings of the defendant subject to the continuing lien under (a) of this section. Accrued interest on the judgment or balance due as reflected on the writ of attachment may be garnished under a supplemental writ of garnishment after the principal amount stated on the original writ of garnishment has been paid.
Sec. 09.38.040. Priorities between continuing liens.
A lien obtained under AS 09.38.035 has priority over any subsequent garnishment lien or wage assignment. A writ creating a continuing lien served upon an employer while a continuing lien imposed by a previous writ is still in effect shall be answered by the employer with a statement that the employer is holding no funds and with a further statement stating when all previous liens are expected to terminate. The subsequent writ has full effect from the termination of all prior liens or until it is otherwise terminated under AS 09.38.035 . However, a subsequent writ is not effective if a writ in the same cause of action is pending at the time of service of garnishment.
Sec. 09.38.045. Effective date of continuing lien.
The effective date of a writ creating a continuing lien is the date of service upon the garnishee. However, if there are, on that date, liens by virtue of previous writs, the effective date is the date all previous writs terminate.
Sec. 09.38.050. Increased exemption amount.
(a) An individual debtor who is in possession of money that was obtained as payment for an injury or disability may request the court to order an increase in the exemption amounts under AS 09.38.030 . The individual debtor shall submit affidavits or offer testimony in support of the request as required by the court. The court shall determine the exemption amount after consideration of the individual's responsibilities and all the present and anticipated property and income of the individual, including that which is exempt.
(b) The exemption amounts under AS 09.38.030 may be increased when the individual submits an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, stating that the individual's earnings alone support the individual's household; by so doing, the maximum part of the individual's aggregate disposable earnings for any week subject to execution may not exceed the amount by which the individual's disposable earnings for that week exceed $550, or, if the individual is claiming an exemption for cash or other liquid assets under AS 09.38.030 (b), a maximum amount of $2,200 available in a month is exempt.
Sec. 09.38.055. Bankruptcy proceedings.
In a proceeding under 11 U.S.C. (Bankruptcy) only the exemptions under AS 09.38.010 , 09.38.015(a), 09.38.017, 09.38.020, 09.38.025 and 09.38.030 apply.
Sec. 09.38.060. Tracing exempt property.
(a) If property, or a part of it, that could have been claimed as an exempt homestead under AS 09.38.010 , a burial plot under AS 09.38.015(a)(1), a health aid under AS 09.38.015 (a)(2), or personal property subject to a value limitation under AS 09.38.020 (a)(1), or (2) or 09.38.020(c), has been taken or sold by condemnation, or has been lost, damaged, or destroyed and the owner has been indemnified for it, the individual is entitled to an exemption of proceeds that are traceable for 12 months after the proceeds are received. An individual is entitled to an exemption of proceeds from the voluntary sale of an exempt homestead under AS 09.38.010 that are traceable for six months after the proceeds are received. The exemption of proceeds under this subsection does not entitle the individual to claim an aggregate exemption in excess of the value limitation otherwise allowable under AS 09.38.010 or 09.38.020.
(b) Money or other property and proceeds exempt under this chapter are traceable under this section by application of the principle of first-in first-out, last-in first-out, or any other reasonable basis for tracing selected by the individual claiming the exemption.
Sec. 09.38.065. Claims enforceable against exempt property.
(a) Subject to AS 06.60.360 (e), and notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter,
(1) a creditor may make a levy against exempt property of any kind to enforce a claim for
(A) child support;
(B) unpaid earnings of up to one month's compensation or the full-time equivalent of one month's compensation for personal services of an employee; or
(C) state or local taxes;
(2) a creditor may make a levy against exempt property to enforce a claim for
(A) the purchase price of the property or a loan made for the express purpose of enabling an individual to purchase the property and used for that purpose;
(B) labor or materials furnished to make, repair, improve, preserve, store, or transport the property; and
(C) a special assessment imposed to defray costs of a public improvement benefiting the property; and
(3) a creditor may make a levy against exempt property of any kind to enforce the claim of a victim, including a judgment of restitution on behalf of a victim of a crime or a delinquent act, if the claim arises from conduct of the debtor that results in a conviction of a crime or an adjudication of delinquency, except that the debtor is entitled to an exemption in property
(A) not to exceed an aggregate value of $3,000 chosen by the debtor from the following categories of property:
(i) household goods and wearing apparel reasonably necessary for one household;
(ii) books and musical instruments, if reasonably held for the personal use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; and
(iii) family portraits and heirlooms of particular sentimental value to the debtor; and
(B) not to exceed an aggregate value of $2,800 of the debtor's implements, professional books, and tools of the trade.
(b) Except as provided in AS 09.38.070 limiting the enforcement of certain security interests, this chapter does not affect any statutory lien or security interest in exempt property.
(c) A creditor having a claim enforceable under (a) of this section against exempt property, before, at the time of, or a reasonable time after making a levy on property of an individual, shall serve on the individual a notice of the levy and of the basis for the creditor's right to make a levy on exempt property.
(d) [Repealed, Sec. 40 ch 92 SLA 2001].
Sec. 09.38.070. Limitation on enforcement of certain security interests in exempt goods.
(a) This section applies to a security interest, except a purchase-money security interest, or a security interest in a motor vehicle, in an item of goods (1) possessed by an individual, (2) being used by that individual or a dependent, and (3) exempt under AS 09.38.020(a) - (d).
(b) Unless the individual, after receiving written notice of the individual's rights under this section, voluntarily surrenders to the secured creditor possession of an item of goods to which this section applies, the creditor may not take possession of the item or otherwise enforce the security interest according to its terms without an order or process of court.
(c) The court may order or authorize process respecting any item of goods to which this section applies only after a hearing, upon notice to the individual of the hearing and of the individual's rights at it. The notice shall be as directed by the court. The order or authorization may prescribe appropriate conditions as to payments upon the debt secured or otherwise. The court may not order or authorize process respecting the item if it finds upon the hearing both that the individual lacks the means to pay all or part of the debt secured and that continued possession or use of the item is necessary to avoid undue hardship for the individual or a dependent.
(d) The court, upon application of the creditor or the individual and notice to the other and after a hearing and finding of changed circumstances, may vacate or modify an order or authorization under this section.
Sec. 09.38.075. Special procedures relating to limited value exemptions; burden of proof.
(a) Unless a creditor is seeking collection of a claim enforceable against exempt property under AS 09.38.065 , the creditor may obtain a levy on an individual's property of a kind listed in AS 09.38.020 only by complying with this section. Before levy, the creditor shall file with the court out of which the process issues
(1) an affidavit stating that the creditor has reason to believe the individual has property of a kind listed in AS 09.38.020 that is not exempt, identifying the property, setting out facts constituting the basis for believing the property is not exempt; and
(2) a request for an order by the court notifying the individual
(A) of the creditor's claim of a right to levy on the property identified as nonexempt;
(B) of the individual's right to contest the creditor's claim of a right to levy by filing with the clerk of the court, on or before a date fixed by the court, but not exceeding 15 days after the issuance of the order, a written objection to the proposed levy and a statement of the grounds for the objection and of the right to describe the property in lieu of setting its value;
(C) of the possible consequences of failure to respond to the notice as provided in (c) of this section; and
(D) of the information required by AS 09.38.085 (a).
(b) Notice of an order issued in accordance with a request under (a) of this section, together with the creditor's affidavit, shall be served on the individual. The order shall restrain the individual from removing, encumbering, damaging, or disposing of any property of the kind listed in AS 09.38.020 for 30 days after receipt of the order, unless the court reduces, extends, or otherwise modifies the restraining order during the 30-day period.
(c) If exemption of property identified in a notice served on an individual under (b) of this section depends on its value, the individual may describe the property in the responsive statement and indicate the amount of any indebtedness chargeable against it. If the individual, within the time allowed by the order of the court, fails to respond to a notice served under (b) of this section that the creditor believes the debtor has nonexempt property of a kind listed under AS 09.38.020, the court may order the individual to appear and disclose the description, location, and value of the individual's property. If the individual fails to appear and disclose the information specified in the order, the individual waives objection to the creditor's levy on property of that kind.
(d) Except to the extent the procedure is prescribed by this section, AS 09.38.080 (e) governs a proceeding for the determination of a contest in respect to a claim to exemption of property under AS 09.38.020.
(e) Costs incurred in making, or proposing to make, a levy on property of a kind listed in AS 09.38.020 shall be paid out of the proceeds of a sale of property of that kind. If the proceeds of a sale of the property are insufficient to cover the costs incurred in proceedings commenced under this section, the creditor shall pay the costs and may not recover them from the individual, notwithstanding any agreement of the parties to the contrary.
(f) The burden of proving the validity of an exemption by a preponderance of the evidence is upon the individual claiming the exemption.
Sec. 09.38.080. Procedures applicable to a levy on property of an individual.
(a) Except in a proceeding under AS 09.38.065 , a creditor shall comply with this section in obtaining a levy on property of an individual. In a proceeding to levy on personal property of a kind listed in AS 09.38.020 , a creditor shall comply with this section and AS 09.38.075 .
(b) Before, at the time of, or within three days after levy against property of an individual, the creditor shall file with the court from which the process issued an affidavit stating that the creditor has reason to believe the individual has property that is not exempt, identifying the property, and stating facts constituting the basis for that belief.
(c) Before, at the time of, or within three days after levy, the creditor shall serve on the individual a notice under AS 09.38.085 , including a copy of the affidavit filed under (b) of this section.
(d) A bid for property that is less than the amount of the exempt value is not acceptable at a sale of property under a levy. If indebtedness secured by a valid lien is chargeable against the proceeds of the sale, the bid must exceed the amount of the indebtedness secured plus the amount of the exempt value. If a sufficient bid is not received, the officer shall file a notation of the fact with the clerk of the court and return the property to the individual. The costs incurred during levy, offering the property for sale, and returning the property shall be assessed against the creditor and are not recoverable from the individual, notwithstanding any agreement of the parties to the contrary.
(e) If any question arises as to the rights of an individual entitled to an exemption under this chapter, an interested person may file with the clerk of the court from which the process issued a statement of the claim of exemptions and the question raised. The statement shall be referred to the court as soon as practicable thereafter. The court shall order that notice of a hearing be given. After hearing the matter, the court shall make findings and issue an appropriate order. The court may award to the prevailing party costs of a proceeding under this subsection.
(f) An objection to levy on the ground that the property seized is exempt must be filed with the clerk of the court within 15 days after the levy. The burden of proving the validity of an exemption by a preponderance of the evidence is upon the individual claiming the exemption. Failure to file a timely objection may be held to be a waiver of a claim to exemption in the property, unless for cause shown the court excuses the failure.
Sec. 09.38.085. Contents of notice; forms.
(a) The notice required by AS 09.38.075 (b) and 09.38.080(c) must include the following information:
(1) the amount and date of the judgment to be enforced by levy and sale or other mode of appropriating the individual's property;
(2) the name and address of the clerk of the court with whom objections must be filed;
(3) the name and address of the creditor and of the creditor's attorney, if any;
(4) a copy of the affidavit filed under AS 09.38.080 (b);
(5) a summary statement in lay terminology of the exemptions provided by the laws of this state;
(6) a summary statement in lay terminology of the procedures for claiming exemptions, objecting to a levy on exempt property, changing venue, and exercising the right to repurchase homestead property from a sale before its confirmation; and
(7) a statement in lay terminology of the rights of persons other than the individual as provided in AS 09.38.090 .
(b) The supreme court may prescribe forms to be used by creditors, debtors, and court officers under this chapter.
(c) A notice substantially complying with this section is effective even though the notice contains errors if those errors do not result in substantial prejudice to the rights of the individual debtor or of the dependents of the individual debtor.
Sec. 09.38.090. Assertion of rights by another.
If an individual fails to select property entitled to be claimed as exempt or to object to a levy on the property or to assert any other right under this chapter, the spouse or a dependent of the individual or any other person authorized by law may make the claim or objection or assert the rights provided by this chapter.
Sec. 09.38.095. Judicial relief.
(a) An individual or the spouse, a dependent of the individual, or any other person authorized by law is entitled to injunctive relief, damages, or both, against a creditor or other person to prevent or redress a violation of this chapter as provided in the Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure. A court may award costs and reasonable attorney fees to a party entitled to injunctive relief or damages.
(b) For cause shown the court may relieve a person from the consequences of failing to take timely action to assert rights under this chapter.
Sec. 09.38.100. Debtor's property owned with another.
(a) If an individual and another own property in this state as tenants in common or tenants by the entirety, a creditor of the individual, subject to the individual's right to claim an exemption under this chapter, may obtain a levy on and sale of the interest of the individual in the property. A creditor who has obtained a levy, or a purchaser who has purchased the individual's interest at the sale, may have the property partitioned or the individual's interest severed.
(b) A partner's right in specific partnership property is exempt except on a claim against the partnership. If partnership property is attached for a partnership debt, the partners or any of them or the representatives of a deceased partner may not claim an exemption for that property under this chapter.