Bankruptcy Exemptions in California

Santa Ana Bankruptcy Lawyer

When you are filing for bankruptcy, there are certain assets that can be protected from creditors. The California government allows you to choose between two exemption systems. You are allowed to keep property that falls under the system you choose, up to the specified dollar amount. The dollar amount refers to the amount of equity in the property. If you want to keep any non-exempt property, then you must pay your bankruptcy trustee the value of the property. Before you file for bankruptcy, obtain counsel from an Orange County bankruptcy lawyer at 1st California Law, Inc. We can review your financial situation and advise you on the best course of action.

System 1

The following is a list of exempt property under System 1 as stated in the California Code of Civil Procedure:

Homestead: any property that you occupy may be exempt up to the amount listed below:

  • $75,000 for single people who are not disabled
  • $100,000 for families
  • $175,000 for persons 65 and older, or disabled persons
  • $175,000 for persons 55 and older who earn under $15,000 if single, and earn under $20,000 if married

Personal Property: the following items will be exempt from liquidation:

  • Necessary food, clothing, furnishings, and appliances
  • Social security deposits up to $3,650
  • Building materials for home improvement up to $2,875
  • Burial plot
  • Health aids
  • Heirlooms, art, or jewelry up to $7,175
  • Compensation for personal injury or wrongful death

Insurance: the subsequent types of insurance may be exempt from creditors:

  • Health and disability benefits
  • Homeowner's insurance for up to six months
  • Certain life insurance
  • Fidelity bonds
  • Fraternal unemployment benefits

Other exceptions may include some pensions, public benefits, tools, and a 75% of an individual's wages.

System 2

Under System 2, the following list of items will be excluded, as stated in the California Code of Civil Procedure:

Homestead: any property used as a residence that is valued up to $17, 425

Personal Property: the following items may be exempt up to the dollar amount listed:

  • Animals, appliances, crops, books, clothing, and musical instruments up to $450 per item
  • Jewelry up to $1,150
  • Health aids
  • Burial plot up to $17, 425
  • Compensation for personal injury up to $17,425
  • Compensation for wrongful death that is needed for support
  • Motor vehicle up to $2,725
  • Tools of trade up to $1,750

Insurance: disability and certain types of life insurance are to be excluded from liquidation.

System 2 exceptions also include alimony, child support, some public benefits, and $925 of any property.

Counsel from a Skilled Bankruptcy Attorney

To find out which system you should choose, contact our firm. One of our Santa Ana bankruptcy lawyers can take a look at your property to see which would benefit you the most. We are available 24/7, even on weekends, because your needs are our first priority. Trust a firm whose staff has been described as professional, knowledgeable, informative, and caring by former clients. We offer a free case evaluation for those who are interested in retaining our services!