California's "Wild Card" Bankruptcy Exemption

What do you do if you want to protect your property i.e. jewelry, car, etc. but their values exceed the exemptions you are allowed? Wouldn't it be nice if there were some "catch-all" or "wild-card" exemption that could help you protect any of your property?

The Code of Civil Procedure Section 703.140(b)(5), also known as the "wild card exemption" provides the following exemption protection: The debtor's aggregate interest in any property up to $1175.00 in value, plus any unused amount of the homestead exemption, which is $22,075.00.

In other words, the wild card exemption allows you to protect any property up to $23,250.00 ($1175.00 wildcard + $22075.00 homestead). The wild card exemption is especially useful if one or more of your other exemptions are insufficient to protect your property. You may also split your wild card exemption amount over multiple items and combine it with other exemptions as needed. This set of exemptions is generally used for people who dont own homes or do not have significant equity in their homes.

Categories: Chapter 13, Chapter 7