Los Angeles, CA asked in Bankruptcy for California

Q: What code and section for property exemption (e.I. car)?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ute Ferdig
Ute Ferdig
  • Newcastle, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: There are 2 sets of exemptions available in CA. Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 704.010 et.seq or CA Code of Civil Procedure 703.140 which is only available in bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, you have to decide which set of exemptions you want to apply. You can't pick and choose from both sets. Which set of exemptions is most advantageous for your situation may hinge on whether you own a home and whether you have any equity in the home. Choose the set of exemptions carefully as you can't change it later. When choosing the best set of exemptions, you don't look just at 1 exemption. You have to keep the whole picture in mind. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may be able to benefit from more than 1 exemption. For instance, let's say the equity in your car is more than the applicable motor vehicle exemption, you could use all or a portion of the wild card exemption and/or any unused unused portion of the §703.140(b)(1) exemption. Please note, the wild card exemption is only available under the special California Civil Procedure 703.140 bankruptcy exemption set. You will also have to make sure that you have resided in CA long enough to be eligible for the California exemptions (2-year minimum requirement). As you can see, there is a lot to choosing the right set of exemptions and I would highly recommend you consult with a local bankruptcy attorney to make sure you get answers that are tailored to your specific circumstances.

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