What are Bankruptcy Exemptions? Answers
When you speak with a bankruptcy attorney in our office, it is highly likely that you will have a lot of questions. This is perfectly natural with many people wondering, “what is bankruptcy?” and “can I protect my property?” The answer revolves around bankruptcy exemptions.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
Bankruptcy means that someone does not have the financial capacity to pay their debts. Filing for it gives people the ability to either eliminate some of their debts. It also allows people to enter into a payment arrangement that is affordable. There are different chapters of bankruptcy that have different meanings and offer different services.
Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy where the Trustee sells all non-exempt assets to pay creditors. Any unpaid debts are discharged. Therefore, the debtor no longer owes these debts. Chapter 13 is a reorganization bankruptcy. It allows people to keep their assets while entering into an affordable payment arrangement to take care of debts.
To file bankruptcy, it is important to understand some of the nuances that come with filing for bankruptcy in the state of California. Filing bankruptcy in California is unique because it has two sets of exemptions available.
In order to properly understand how to apply for these exemptions, speak with a bankruptcy attorney in our office. We are intimately familiar with the California bankruptcy filing legal system and can help clients benefit throughout the process.
Choosing the right exemption system
Since California offers two sets of exemptions available when filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, individuals can choose between the state exemption system and a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions. A bankruptcy attorney is critical to help identify which set of the exemptions will work best for you.
The homestead exemption
When it comes to the homestead, which involves real or personal property that is occupied at the time of filing for bankruptcy, the state places the following limits. For an individual who is single, without a disability, the limit is $75,000. The limit is $100,000 for a family and no other member that has a homestead. For an individual who is 65 years of age or older and is physically or mentally disabled, the limit is $175,000.
If creditors are seeking to force the individual to sell his or her house and the individual is 55 years or older, single and earning under $25,000 per year, then the exemption limit is $175,000. This exemption limit of $175,000 also applies to individuals who are 55 years and older, married and earning under $35,000 per year.
Speak with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer
Filing for bankruptcy in California can be incredibly complex, especially when considering the two different systems of exemptions that exist when filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is wise to speak with a bankruptcy attorney who intimately understands the California code. We are here to help and can guide you in the direction is going to be most beneficial to you.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.