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California Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal Supplemental Exemptions can be used in conjunction with your California exemptions and can be viewed here.

In California, you may choose to use the Federal Exemption set instead of your state exemptions.

You may also want to visit your local federal bankruptcy court web site:

Also see California bankruptcy forms.

ASSET

EXEMPTION DESCRIPTION

LAW SECTION

HOMESTEAD

Real or personal property you occupy including mobile home, boat, stock cooperative, community apartment, planned development or condo to $50,000 if single and not disabled; $75,000 for families if no other member has a homestead (if only one spouse files, may exempt one-half of amount if home held as community property and all of amount if home held as tenants in common), $125,000 if 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).

704.710,

704.720,

704.730

In re McFall, 112 B.R. 336

(9th Cir. B.A.P., 1990)

PERSONAL PROPERTY

Appliances, furnishings, clothing and food needed

704.020

 

Bank deposits from Social Security Administration to $2000

($3000 for husband and wife)

704.080

 

Building materials to $2000 to repair or improve home (husband and wife may not double)

704.030

 

Burial plot

704.200

 

Health aids

704.050

 

Jewelry, heirlooms and art to $5000 total (husband and wife may not double)

704.040

 

Motor vehicles to $1900, or $1900 in auto insurance if vehicle(s), lost, damaged or destroyed (husband and wife may not double)

704.010

 

Personal injury and wrongful death causes of action

704.140 (a),

704.150 (a)

 

Personal injury and wrongful death recoveries needed for support; if receiving installments, at least 75%

704.140(b), (c), (d),

704.150 (b), (c)

 

May file homestead declaration

704.920

INSURANCE

Disability or health benefits

704.130

 

Fidelity bonds

Labor 404

 

Fraternal unemployment benefits

704.120

 

Homeowner’s insurance proceeds for 6 months after received, to homestead exemption amount

704.720 (b)

 

Life Insurance proceeds if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary’s creditors

Ins. 10132, Ins. 10170,

Ins. 10171

 

Matured life insurance benefits needed for support

704.100 (c)

 

Unmatured life insurance policy loan value to $8,000 (husband and wife may double

704.100 (b)

MISCELLANEOUS

Business or professional licenses

695.060

 

Inmates’ trust fund to $1000 (husband and wife may not double)

704.090

 

Property of business partnership

Corp. 15025

PENSIONS

County employees

Gov’t 31452

 

County firefighters

Gov’t 32210

 

County peace officers

Gov’t 31913

 

Private retirement benefits, including IRAs and Keoghs

704.115

 

Public employees

Gov’t 21201

 

Public retirement benefits

704.110

PUBLIC BENEFITS

Aid to blind, aged, disabled, AFDC

704.170

 

Financial aid to students

704.190

 

Relocation benefits

704.180

 

Unemployment benefits

704.120

 

Union benefits due to labor dispute

704.120(b)(5)

 

Workers’ compensation

704.160

TOOLS OF TRADE

Tools, implements, materials, instruments, uniforms, books, furnishings, equipment, vessel, motor vehicle to $5,000 total; to $10,000 total if used by both spouses in same occupation (cannot claim motor vehicle under tools of trade exemption if claimed under motor vehicle exemption)

704.060

WAGES

Minimum 75% of wages

704.070

 

Public employees vacation credits; if receiving installments, at least 75%

704.113


SYSTEM 2


NOTE: Married couples may not double any exemptions (se In re Talmadge, 822 F.2d 1120 (9th Cir. 1987);
In re Baldwin, 70 B.R. 612 (9th Cir. B.A.P. 1987)


ASSET

EXEMPTION DESCRIPTION

LAW SECTION

HOMESTEAD

Real or personal property, including co-op, used as residence to $17,425; unused portion of homestead may be applied to any property

703.140 (b)(1)

PERSONAL PROPERTY

Animals, crops, appliances, furnishings, household goods, books, musical instruments and clothing to $450 per item

703.140 (b) (3)

 

Burial plot to $17,425, in lieu of homestead

703.140 (b) (1)

 

Health aids

703.140 (b) (9)

 

Jewelry to $1,150

703.140 (b) (4)

 

Motor vehicle to $2,775

703.140 (b)( (2)

 

Personal injury recoveries to $17,425 (not to include pain and suffering; pecuniary loss)

703.140 (b) (11) (D, E)

 

Wrongful death recoveries needed for support

703.140 (b) (11) (B)

INSURANCE

Disability benefits

703.140 (b) (10)() (C)

 

Life insurance proceeds needed for support of family

703.140 (b) (11) (C)

 

Unmatured life insurance contract accrued avails to $9,300

703.140 (b) (8)

 

Unmatured life insurance policy other than credit

703.140 (b) (7)

MISC.

Alimony, child support needed for support

703.140 (b) (10) (D)

PENSIONS

ERISA-qualified benefits needed for support

703.140 (b) (10) (E)

PUBLIC BENEFITS

Crime victim’s compensation

703.140 (b) (11) (A)

 

Public Assistance

703.140 (b) (10) (A)

 

Social Security

703.1400 (b) (10) (A)

 

Unemployment compensation

703.140 (b) (10) (A)

 

Veterans’ benefits

703.140 (b) (10) (B)

TOOLS OF TRADE

Implements, books, and tools of trade up to $1,750

703.140 (b) (6)

WAGES

NONE

 

WILD CARD

$925 of any property

703.140 (b) (5)

 

Plus unused portion of homestead or burial exemption, of any property

703.140 (b) (5)