The answer depends on which Bankruptcy you file. If you file under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will lose your assets that is not protected under the California Exemptions. If you file under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you can keep assets that are not protected under the California Exemption by paying your unsecured creditors through a payment plan for upto 60 months. This does not mean that you will pay all your debt; you might pay only a fraction of your debt depending on the value of your assets and income.
In Bankruptcy, and if you resides in California long enough, you have 2 sets of Exemption to choose from: CCP 703 and CCP 704. (CCP is a abbreviation for California Civil Procedure) Keep in mind these figures are subject to change. These exemptions were last updated by the California Judicial Council to adjust for inflation on April 1, 2013. The next update will be April 1, 2016.
Unfortunately, California does not allow you to double the exemptions if you are married. If you recently moved to California, you might have to use exemption from a different state that you had resided.
Under CCP 703 California Exemption:
- California’s homestead exemption is $25,575 for real or personal property used as a residence – 703.140(b)(1). Homestead protects your principal residence, which can be mobile home, boat, stock cooperative, community apartment, planned development or condominium.
- Motor Vehicles up to $5,100 of equity
- Burial plot up to $25,575 instead of homestead – 703.140(b)(1)
- Clothing, household goods, appliances, furnishings, animals, books, musical instruments and crops up to $650 per item – 703.140(b)(3)
- Jewelry up to $1,525 – 703.140(b)(4)
- Health aids – 703.140(b)(9)
- Wrongful death recoveries needed for support – 703.140(b)(11)
- Personal injury recoveries up to $25,575 – 703.140(b)(11)
- Tax exempt retirement accounts (including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined benefit plans) – 11 U.S.C. § 522
- IRAS and Roth IRAs up to $1,245,475 – 11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C)(n) (This amount is set by federal law.)
- ERISA-qualified pension, annuities, and benefits necessary for support – 703.140(b)(10)
- Unemployment compensation, Social Security, Veterans’ benefits, and public assistance – 703.140(b)(10)
- Crime victims’ reparation benefits – 703.140(b)(11)
- Tools, books and implements of trade up to $7,625 – 703.140(b)(6)
- Alimony and child support necessary for support – 703.140(b)(10)
- Unmatured life insurance policy, other than credit – 703.140(b)(7)
- Unmatured life insurance accrued interest, dividends, loan, cash or surrender value up to $13,675 – 703.140(b)(8)
- Disability benefits – 703.140(b)(10)
- Life insurance proceeds needed for support – 703.140(b)(11)
- $1,350 plus any unused amount of burial or homestead exemption in any property (currently $26,925 in total if no homestead exemption is used) – 703.140(b)(5)
Under CCP 704 California Exemptions:
- Homestead exemption up to: $75,000 if single and not disabled; $100,000 if family and at least one family member has no interest in the homestead; $175,000 if 65 or older or if physically or mentally disabled; $175,000 if creditors are seeking to force the sale of your home and you are either (a) 55 or older, single and earn under $25,000 per year, or (b) 55 or older, married and earn under $35,000 per year – 704.730
- Motor vehicle exemption up to $2,900 – 704.010
- Household items and personal effects – 704.020
- Residential building materials to repair or improve home up to $3,050 – 704.030
- Jewelry, heirlooms and works of art up to $7,625 – 704.040
- Health aids – 704.050
- Bank deposits arising out of Social Security payments up to $3,050 for a single payee ($4,575 for husband and wife payees) and unlimited if funds are not commingled; bank deposits from other public benefit payments up to $1,525 ($2,275 for husband and wife as joint payees) – 704.080
- Personal injury and wrongful death causes of action and recoveries that are necessary for support – 704.140 & 704.150
- Cemetery and burial plot – 704.200
- 75% of wages paid within 30 days prior to filing bankruptcy – 704.070
- Public employee vacation credits (at least 75% if receiving installment payments) – 704.113
- Tax exempt retirement accounts (including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined benefit plans) – 11 U.S.C. § 522.
- IRAS and Roth IRAs to $1,245,475 – 11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C)(n). (This amount is set by federal law.)
- Public retirement benefits – 704.110
- Private retirement plans and benefits, including IRA and Keogh – 704.115
- Public employees – Cal. Gov’t Code § 21255
- County employees – Cal. Gov’t Code § 31452
- County peace officers – Cal. Gov’t Code § 31913
- County fire fighters – Cal. Gov’t Code § 32210
- Unemployment and disability benefits, and union benefits due to labor disputes – 704.120
- Workers’ compensation benefits – 704.160
- Public assistance benefits – 704.170.
- Relocation benefits – 704.180.
- Student financial aid – 704.190
- Tools, implements, materials, books, uniforms, instruments, one commercial vehicle, equipment, and furnishings up to $7,625 total, or up to $15,250 if used by both spouses in the same occupation. Commercial vehicle up to $4,850, or $9,700 if used by both spouses in the same occupation – 704.06
- Matured life insurance benefits needed for support of unlimited value, or unmatured life insurance policy up to $12,200 – 704.100
- Disability or health insurance benefits – 704.130
- Homeowners’ insurance proceeds for six months after received, up to amount of homestead exemption -704.720
- Fidelity bonds – Cal. Labor Code § 404
- Life insurance proceeds if policy prohibits use to pay creditors – Cal. Insurance Code § 10132, 10170, 10171
- Business or professional licenses – 695.060
- Trust funds of inmates up to $1,525 – 704.090
- Property of business partnership – Cal. Corporations Code § 16501
For more information call to schedule an appointment with an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney to review your case and protect your assets. Bankruptcy Attorney’s Offices are located in Sacramento, Stockton, and Fairfield, California.
We are a Debt Relief Agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code.
Serving Sacramento, Stockton, Fairfield, CA and the following counties and cities:
Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, Yuba City, Lodi, Galt, Manteca, Modesto, Tracy, Davis, Woodland, Elk Grove, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Orangevale, Antelope, Fair Oaks, West Sacramento, Roseville, Rocklin, Rancho Cordova, Lincoln, North Highlands, Folsom, El Dorado, Ripon, Fairfield, Vacaville, Dixon, Vallejo, Woodland, Davis, Winters, Oakdale, Newman, Patterson.