Wednesday, October 14, 2009

California Increases Homestead Exemptions Limits for Debtors

Homestead exemption laws protect the amount of equity that a homeowner can shield from judgment creditors or from creditors while in bankruptcy.  Beginning on January 1, 2010, the limits on homestead exemptions in California will increase by as much as 50% for some homeowners.

Under current law, the base homestead exemption to protect home equity from judgment creditors will increase from $50,000 to $75,000.  A $75,000 exemption for certain family units will increase to $100,000.  A $150,000 exemption available to homeowners who are 65 years of age or older, disabled, or 55 years of age or older with a limited income will increase to $175,000.

As a debtor facing bankruptcy, you can choose from the homestead exemptions listed above or from a different set of exemptions only available to Californians in bankruptcy cases.  Often referred to as the "renter's exemptions" because they are used primarily by renters or homeowners with little or no home equity, these "bankruptcy only" exemptions can be used as a "wild card" to protect any type of property in bankruptcy.  The maximum "wild card" exemption in California is presently $21,825.  However, this amount might be increased based on any increase in the California Consumer Price Index since the exemption was last adjusted in 2007.

If you are in Southern California and want to talk to an attorney about your debt problems or how this new law might effect you, please call us now at (619) 448-2129 or contact us through our website for more information.

About the Author: Carl H. Starrett II has been a licensed attorney since 1993 and is a member in good standing with the California State Bar, the San Diego County Bar Association and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. Mr. Starrett practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business litigation, construction, corporate planning and debt collection.

1 comment:

Mary S said...

Excellent explanation of a complex situation.