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Bankruptcy Exemptions

Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyers Serving Clients in Ventura

If you are planning to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is important to know that there are property exemptions you can use to protect some of your assets from being sold off to repay your debts.

The state of California requires you to use state exemptions instead of federal exemptions if you file for bankruptcy. However, California also has two state exemption systems:

  • System #1: Debtors who have substantial home equity generally prefer to use this system.
  • System #2: Debtors with valuable property other than home equity tend to use this option.

California also doesn’t allow married couples to use double exemptions unless a particular exemption specifically states it is allowed.

Call (805) 919-8662 today to discuss the details of your case with one of our attorneys. We can determine which bankruptcy exemptions apply to your situation.

System #1 Exemptions

  • Homestead: Covers real or personal property, such as a community apartment, mobile home, boat, and stock cooperative.
  • Personal Property: Includes clothing, furnishings, appliances, SSA bank deposits, burial plots, and personal injury awards.
  • Insurance: Covers fraternal unemployment benefits, fidelity bonds, and disability or health benefits. This exemption also covers life insurance proceeds if there is a clause prohibiting proceeds from being used to pay the beneficiary's creditors.
  • Miscellaneous: Includes inmates' trust fund up to $1000, property from a business partnership, and business or professional licenses.
  • Pensions: Covers pensions for public employees, county police officers, county firefighters, and county employees. It also covers private retirement benefits, including IRAs and Keoghs.
  • Tools of Trade: Includes materials, instruments, tools, implements, uniforms, books, furnishings, equipment, and motor vehicles.
  • Public Benefits: Covers workers' comp, relocation benefits, unemployment benefits, and financial aid to students.
  • Wages: Includes public employees’ vacation credits.

System #2 Exemptions

  • Homestead: Covers real or personal property used for residence up to $17,425.
  • Personal Property: Includes animals, crops, appliances, furnishings, household goods, books, musical instruments, and clothing up to a maximum of $450 per item. It also includes burial plots up to $17,425; jewelry up to $1,150; motor vehicles up to $2,775; personal injury awards up to $17,425; and wrongful death awards needed for support.
  • Insurance: Covers life insurance proceeds needed to support family, unmatured life insurance policies, unmatured life insurance contract accrued avails, and disability benefits.
  • Miscellaneous: Includes alimony and child support.
  • Pensions: Covers ERISA-qualified benefits needed for support.
  • Tools of Trade: Includes implements, books, and tools of trade up to $1,750.
  • Public Benefits: Covers veterans' benefits, Social Security, unemployment compensation, public assistance, and crime victim's compensation.
  • Wild Card: Covers $925 of any property, as well as any unused portion of the homestead or burial exemption.

Talk to Our Bankruptcy Attorneys Today

At The Law Offices of Robert F. Sommers, our team of experienced lawyers is committed to guiding clients through their bankruptcy cases. We have the skills and resources you need to secure a fair case result. Stop by our office today to consult with our legal professionals to find out what we can do for you.

Call (805) 919-8662 to schedule your consultation with a Ventura bankruptcy lawyer. We are ready to put our 20+ years of legal experience to work for you.