California Bankruptcy Exemptions

California Bankruptcy Exemptions

California
Bankruptcy
Exemptions

California has 2 ‘systems’ of bankruptcy exemptions.

You must choose one. Each has different exemption provisions.

California Bankruptcy Exemptions – System # 1

Real or personal Property you occupy including a mobile home, boat, stock cooperative, community apartment, planned development or condo to $75,000.00 if single and not disabled; $100,000.00 for families if no other member has a homestead; $150,000 if age 65 or older, or physically or mentally disabled; $100,000 if 55 or older, single and earn under $15,000 or married and earn under $20,000 and creditors seek to force the sale of your home; sale proceeds exempt for 6 months after received (husband and wife may not double the amount and may file a homestead declaration. D

$75,000

Insurance:

  • Disability or health benefits
  • Fraternal unemployment bonds
  • Life insurance proceeds or avails if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary’s creditors
  • Fidelity bonds
  • Homeowners’ insurance proceeds for 6 months after received, to homestead exemption amount
  • Matured life insurance benefits needed for support
  • Unmatured life insurance policy loan value to
    $10,775 husband and wife may double to $21,550

Pensions

  • County employees
  • County firefighters
  • County peace officers
  • Private retirement benefits, including IRA’s and KEOGHS
  • Public employees
  • Public Retirement benefits

Miscellaneous

  • Property of business partnership
  • Business or professional license, except liquor licenses
  • Inmates’ trust funds to $1,350 (husband and wife may not double)

Personal Property

  • Appliances, furnishings, clothing and food needed
  • Bank deposits from Social Security Administration to $2,700 ($4,050 for husband and wife.
    Note on Social Security:
    Bank accounts which receive direct deposits from Social Security are exempt without making a claim if they have $2,700 or less (if one depositor is designated payee) or $4,050 (if two or more depositors are designated payees). Balances over the designated amount are completely exempt as long as traceable to Social Security.
  • Building materials to $2,700 to repair or improve home (husband and wife may not double amount)
  • Burial Plot
  • Health aids
  • Jewelry, heirlooms and art to $6,750 total (may not be doubled)
  • Motor vehicles to $2,550 in auto insurance if vehicle(s) lost, damaged or destroyed (may not be doubled)
  • Personal injury causes of action
  • Personal injury recoveries needed for support; if receiving installments at least 75%
  • Wrongful death causes of action
  • Wrongful death recoveries needed for support; if receiving installments, at least 75%

Public Benefits

  • Aid to blind, aged, disabled, AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependant Children)
  • Financial Aid to Students
  • Relocation benefits
  • Union benefits due to labor dispute
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Worker’s Compensation

Tools of Trade

  • Tools, implements, materials, instruments, uniforms, books, furnishings, equipment, vessel, motor vehicle to $6,750 total (Motor vehicle limited to $4,850); to $13,475 total (Motor vehicle limited to $9,700) if used by both spouses in same occupation (cannot claim motor vehicle under both tools of trade exemption and motor vehicle exemption.

Wages

  • Public employees vacation credits; if receiving installments, at least 75%
  • 75% of wages paid within 30 days of filing for bankruptcy

NOTE: These are the major bankruptcy exemptions.
Check with your bankruptcy lawyer for a full exemptions list.

California Bankruptcy Exemptions – System # 2

Homestead – Unused portion of homestead may be applied to any property.

$20,725

Insurance:

  • Disability or health benefits
  • Life insurance proceeds or avails needed for support
  • Unmatured life insurance contract accrued avails to $11,075
  • Unmatured life insurance policy other than credit

Miscellaneous

  • Alimony, child support needed for support

Pensions

  • ERISA qualified benefits needed for support

Personal Property

  • Animals, crops, appliances, furnishings, household goods, books, musical instruments and clothing to $525 per item
  • Burial plot to $20,725, in lieu of homestead
  • Health Aids
  • Jewelry to $1,350
  • Motor vehicle to $3,300
  • Personal injury recoveries to $20,775 (not to include pain and suffering or pecuniary loss)
  • Wrongful death recoveries needed for support

Public Benefits

  • Crime victims’ compensation
  • Public Assistance
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Veterans’ benefits

Tools of Trade

$2,075

Wild Card

  • $1,100 of any property plus unused portion of homestead or burial exemption of any property. Total wildcard = $21,825

NOTE: These are the major bankruptcy exemptions.
Check with your bankruptcy lawyer for a full exemptions list.


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