Bankruptcy under any chapter of the code helps debtors protect assets in many ways like the prohibition of repossession or foreclosure activities, the prospect of discharge of many unsecured and undersecured debts, and perhaps most importantly, the right to claim many assets as exempt from the claims of creditors. To learn how you can get the most out of your right to exemptions, discuss your situation with a consumer bankruptcy lawyer. Contact Law Offices of Daniel G. Shay in San Diego for a free initial consultation.
Careful analysis of exemption rights as they apply to your property can make a significant difference in the outcome of your bankruptcy, and can guide such considerations as planning when to file or which chapter to file. Our familiarity with the range of exemptions available to debtors in California can help assure that your decisions will be based on sound information.
The most important exemption available to California debtors involves equity in the homestead. An individual can claim up to $50,000 of equity in a primary residence as exempt from creditors’ claims, while a couple filing a joint petition can exempt up to $75,000 of homestead equity. The California Homestead Exemption is $150,000 if the debtor is a senior, disabled or is 55 years old with limited income.
Bear in mind that equity in excess of the exemption limits is theoretically available to meet the claims of unsecured creditors. As a result, people who might otherwise be eligible for Chapter 7 relief might instead need to file under Chapter 13 to protect excess homestead equity.
Other exemptions cover household goods, motor vehicles, retirement accounts, jewelry and other assets. It’s important to understand that exemptions and exemption limits apply only to the value of the debtor’s unencumbered interest in a given asset. For example, if you owe $5,000 on a car worth only $3,200, you don’t need to take advantage of the motor vehicle exemption because you have no equity to exempt from creditors’ claims.
We take an aggressive approach to bankruptcy exemptions and we know how to stand up to trustees or creditors who try to reach assets that are exempt. Our ability to help our clients realize the maximum benefit of exemptions represents one of the most valuable services we provide.
For additional information about bankruptcy exemptions and asset protection, contact Law Offices of Daniel G. Shay for the advice of a knowledgeable attorney.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.