Legal Memorandum: Interest Rates for Divorce Judgments in MN

Issue: What would a reasonable rate of interest be for a judgment or award of $50,000 or less in a situation where a wife brought an action against her former husband to enforce the property distribution provisions of their Marital Termination Agreement, which had been ratified by the trial court?

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: Interest rate; Judgment or award
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Minn. § 549.09, subd. 1(c)(1); Minn. Stat. § 549.09
Date: 02/01/2013

For a judgment or award of $50,000 or less, “[t]he rate of interest shall be based on the secondary market yield of one year United States Treasury bills, calculated on a bank discount basis.”  Id. § 549.09, subd. 1(c)(1).  Such interest is computed as simple interest per annum.  Id.  The state court administrator must determine the rate each year and communicate that rate to the court administrators.  Id.  

The state court website provides the following information:

M.S. 549.09 directs the State Court Administrator to determine the annual interest rate applicable to certain state court judgments, verdicts, and arbitration awards.  For judgments and awards governed by section 549.09 the annual interest rate for calendar year 2013 shall be 4%, provided that for judgments exceeding $50,000 that are finally entered on or after August 1, 2009, . . . the interest rate shall be 10% per year until paid.  . . .

The following lists the judgment rates in effect for state courts since 2000:

      YEAR              M.S. 549.09            M.S. 549.09 Rate for                                

                  Annual Rate    Judgment exceeding $50,000                          

Finally entered on or after 8/1/09 . . .             

2001                          6%                                                                                      

2002                          2%                                                                                      

2003                          4%                                                                                      

2004                          4%                                                                                      

2005                          4%                                                                                      

2006                          4%                                                                                      

2007                          5%                                                                                      

2008                          4%                                                                                      

2009                         4%                                 10%                                              

2010                         4%                                 10%                                              

2011                         4%                                 10%                                              

2012                         4%                                 10%                                              

2013                         4%                                 10%                                              

See Minnesota Judicial Branch, […]

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