New California Bankruptcy Exemptions Compared

Standard California Bankruptcy Exemptions & Wildcard  Exemptions Compared

(as of April 21, 2021)

TYPE OF PROPERTY STANDARD CALIFORNIA BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTIONS WILDCARD CALIFORNIA BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTIONS
CA CCP
California Homestead Exemption for Debtor’s Principal Residence (including mobile homes, houseboats & all outbuildings on same property)

*New 2021 CA homestead
exemption:
Minimum: $300,000 equity
Maximum: $600,000 equity
Homestead amount varies by county.
To find out your County homestead

exemption, click here.

CA CCP §704.30(a)(1)

$29,275.00

 §703.140(b)(1)

CA CCP
Material to repair or improve residence
$3,500

 §704.030

Not Available
CA CCP
Household Goods Exemption. Includes Furniture, Appliances, Clothes & Personal Items
*Reasonable & Necessary

 §704.020

$725 per item no maximum

 §703.140(b)(3)

CA CCP
Motor Vehicle Exemption
$3,325 total equity in all vehicles

 §704.010

$5,850 in all vehicles  §703.140(b)(2)
CA CCP
Tools of the Trade Exemption. Includes Tools, Equipment and Professional Books
$8,725 per employed Debtor or $17,450 for spouses (if in a common trade or business) or $4,850 in a commercial vehicle or $9,700 total equity in a commercial vehicle for both spouses.

 §704.060

$8,725

 §703.140(b)(6)

CA CCP
Jewelry Exemption Jewelry, Heirlooms, Works of Art
$8,850

 §704.040

$1,750  jewelry only  §703.140(b)(4)
CA CCP
California Wild Card Exemption. Anything selected by debtor
Not Available $1,550 plus unused portion of §703.140(b)(1) homestead exemption. Can be used for any property. (Wild Card) 

 §703.140(b)(5)

CA CCP
Life Insurance Benefits Including endowments & annuities if primarily  a life insurance policy)
*Reasonable & Necessary

 §704.100(c)

All

 §703.140(b)(11)(C)

CA CCP
Life Insurance Loan Values
$11,800 Per spouse  §704.100(b) $15,650

 §703.140(b)(8)

CA CCP
Prosthetics & other Health Aids
Reasonable & Necessary*

 §704.050

All

 §703.140(b)(9)

CA CCP
Cemetery Plot
All for Debtor & Spouse

 §704.200(c)

Not Available
CA CCP
Wages earned
75% of last month’s wages

 §704.070

Not Available
CA CCP
Vacation Credits
All (Public Employees Only)

 §704.113

Not Available
CA CCP
Ongoing Social Security Benefits & /or Public Benefits
All Rights to Receive Social Security Benefits &/or Public Benefits

 §704.010(b)

All Rights to Receive Social Security Benefits & / or Public Benefits

 §703.140(b)(10)(A)

CA CCP
Bank Accounts for Social Security Benefits &/or Public Benefits if Direct Deposit is used and not co-mingled with other funds.
$3,200 if single debtor or $4,800 if joint debtors if Direct Deposit & NOT co-mingled with any other funds.

 §704.080(b)(2) 

 

 

Not Available

[MAY be protected by  §703.140(b)(10)(A)]

CA CCP
Bank Accounts for Social Security Benefits &/or Public Benefits if Direct Deposit is used and not co-mingled with other funds.
 

Any amounts in excess of the §704.080(b)(2) limits above as long as it is Direct Deposit & NOT  co-mingled with any other funds.

§704.080(c)

 

Not Available

[MAY be protected by  §703.140(b)(10)(A)]

CA CCP
Private Retirement Benefits
All

 §704.115(b)

*Reasonable & Necessary

 §703.140(b)(10)(E)

CA CCP
Health/Disability Insurance Benefits
All

 §704.130

All

 §703.140(b)(10)(C)

CA CCP
Personal Injury Payments after Judgment or Settlement
*Reasonable & Necessary

 §704.140(d)

$29,275 Includes Assets Traceable To Funds From Personal Injury 

 §703.140(b)(11)(D)

CA CCP
Personal Injury Cause of Action
All

 §704.140(a)

Same under California Exemption above  §703.140(b)(11)(D) 
CA CCP
Worker’s Compensation Benefits
All

 §704.160

*Reasonable & Necessary

 §703.140(b)(11)(E)

CA CCP
Loss of Future Earnings
All

 §704.140

*Reasonable & Necessary 

 §703.140(b)(11)(E)

CA CCP
Unemployment Benefits
All

 §704.120

All

 §703.140(b)(10)(C)

CA CCP
Relocation Benefits
All

 §704.180

Not Available
CA CCP
Veteran’s Benefits
Not Available

(However it is exempt under Federal Law 

§38 USC §5301)

All

 §703.140(b)(10)(B)

CA CCP
Benefits from Wrongful Death Lawsuit
*Reasonable & Necessary

 §704.150(b)

*Reasonable & Necessary

 §703.140(b)(11)(B)

CA CCP
Wrongful Death Cause of Action
All if deceased was part or whole provider of the household income.

 §704.150(a)

Not Available
CA CCP
Right to Collect Back Child Support or Alimony
Exemption Not Available *Reasonable & Necessary

 §703.140(b)(10)(D)

CA CCP
Welfare or Charitable Aid
All

 §704.170

Not Available
CA CCP
Prisoner Trust Account
$1,750 Inmate trust account (restitution fine or order) $325

 §704.090

Not Available
     
     
     
     

*”Reasonable & Necessary” refers to a judicial determination that the asset is adequate and appropriate to the debtor’s specific lifestyle and the asset’s intended use. Any party objecting to the exemption has the burden of proof that it is not “Reasonable & Necessary.” FRBP 4003(c).

Additional Bankruptcy Exemptions Available:

Note 1: There are additional Federal Non-Bankruptcy Exemptions available in addition to the California Bankruptcy Exemptions. This is the case even where the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions under 11 U.S.C. 522 are not available. See us or a California bankruptcy attorney specialist for details

Note 2: Some assets are not protected under either State or Federal Laws but are not assets of the bankruptcy estate. Therefore, they do not need to be protected even though the assets and rights have value to the Debtor.

This chart of California bankruptcy exemptions under the California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 703 and 704 that set forth the available California Bankruptcy Exemptions was updated on April 21, 2021 by Gary Ray Fraley, California State Bar Certified Bankruptcy Law Specialist, founder & owner of Fraley & Fraley, Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorneys.

You can contact us at www.sacramentobankruptcyattorneys.com or call us at (916) 485-5444.

Warning: Do not assume that you are entitled to use the California bankruptcy exemptions. See a California Bankruptcy Attorney Specialist as to your exemption rights. Your right to use the California bankruptcy exemptions, even when you are living in California, depends on factors that cannot be answered here.

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