Judgments and Enforcement:
A money judgment generally is enforceable against the personal property of a judgment debtor for a period of twenty (20) years. (Section 15-2-6.) Once a judgment is docketed by the Clerk of the Court, it becomes a lien against all real property of the judgment debtor in the county where it is docketed for a period of ten (10) years. (Section 15-16-7.) If a creditor applies for the renewal of the judgment within a period of ten years from the date of its entry, the lien upon the real property of the judgment debtor, other than a homestead, may extend for another ten (10) years.
A creditor is entitled to garnish the personal or real property of a judgment debtor, except as to those exempted by statute, either in his possession or in a third party's possession. (Section 21-18-1.) A judgment debtor's wages may also be garnished, however, it may be limited to only twenty percent (20%) of his disposable earnings per work week. (Section 21-18-51.)
Under the Uniform Enforcement Of Foreign Judgments Act of the State of South Dakota, a judgment issued by other states the United States is entitled to full faith and credit in the same manner as a judgment rendered by the Court of South Dakota. A creditor may seek the enforcement of a foreign judgment by filing an authenticated copy of the foreign state judgment, an affidavit, and payment of a required fee. Notice must generally be given either by the Clerk of the Court or by the judgment creditor to the judgment debtor prior to the enforcement of the foreign judgment. (Section 15-16A-1.)
Under South Dakota laws, whenever a loan of money is made, it is presumed to be made upon interest unless otherwise specified or stipulated by the parties (Section 54-3-2.) There is generally no maximum interest rate or charge or usury rate restriction on an obligation if the interest rate is established in writing by the parties. (Section 54-3-1.) When an interest rate is not specified, the following rates generally applies:
12% (Category C): Maximum interest rate applicable to an obligation where no interest rate is specified. (Section 54-3-4.)
15% (Category F): Maximum interest rate applicable to all moneys lent, or due on any settlement of accounts after they become due unless there is an express contract in writing fixing a different rate. (Section 54-3-5.)
10% (Category B): Interest rate applicable to most money judgments and statutory liens.
A debtor generally may claim exemption of his homestead and personal property from execution of a judgment against him or in a bankruptcy proceeding. South Dakota statutes provide "absolute" exemptions of a judgment debtor's homestead and certain personal property to sustain the basic needs and necessities of the debtor and his family. (Sections 43-45-2 and 43-45-3.) Other additional property exemptions may include goods, chattels, merchandise, money or other personal property not exceeding in the aggregate four thousand dollars in value, miscellaneous books and musical instruments not exceeding two hundred dollars in value, domestic animals limited in numbers, and other tools of trades limited in value. To insure that a debtor enjoys the comforts and necessities of life during retirement years, the State of South Dakota also permits exemption of certain retirement benefits or employee's benefit plans. (Sections 43-45-15.)
While the federal Bankruptcy Code also provides certain exemptions, South Dakota does not permit the election of federal exemptions. (Section 43-45-13.) This means that a resident of South Dakota may only claim exemption of those property and to the extent as permitted under Chapter 43-45 of the South Dakota Codified Laws even if the exemption provided under the federal Bankruptcy Code may be more beneficial to the judgment debtor.
Statutes Of Limitations:
An action for the recovery of money or other damages generally must be filed within a statutory period of time or such action may be barred forever. Some of the time limitations relevant to credit and collection cases are as follows:
Contracts, oral or written 6 years Section 15-2-13
Injury to goods or chattels 6 years Section 15-2-13
Recovery of personal property 6 years Section 15-2-13
Fraud 6 years Section 15-2-13
Trespass upon real property 6 years Section 15-2-13