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Questions concerning Assets and Exemptions

What is an exemption?

Certain property is protected from creditors in bankruptcy. This property is known as exempt property.

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What property is exempt?

Exactly what property is protected depends on the exemption scheme chosen. California has two schedules of exempt property. Determining what property is exempt requires a complete understanding of the laws governing residency and the California exemption laws.

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What happens to my personal property, real property and other assets?

All of the property you own at the time of the filing bankruptcy, and your right to receive property in the future, become the property of the bankruptcy estate. This means that the bankruptcy trustee may take control of this property and liquidate it to satisfy your creditors.

Certain property is exempt and you will be able to keep that property. California has two schedules of exempt property. The set of exemptions you should use depends on the nature and value of your property. Often, all of your assets can be protected.

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Can I keep my home and automobile?

In many cases, you can retain your home and automobile in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding. You will keep your home or automobile in a Chapter 7 if

  1. you are current in making payments on a loan secured by the home or automobile
  2. the home or automobile does not have equity (a liquidation value in excess of the amount owed to creditors with liens against the property) in excess of what you are allowed to exempt.

In the event you want to keep your home or automobile, you must continue to make payments after your petition is filed.

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Are pension and 401(k) plans exempt?

The United States Supreme Court has held that pension plans, 401(k) plans, and other "ERISA-qualified plans" are generally "excluded" from the bankruptcy estate.

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Are IRA accounts exempt?

Unlike 401(k) plans, IRA accounts are not ERISA-qualified plans and are only exempt to the extent necessary for the support of the debtor and their dependents.

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    Laguna Hills Bankruptcy
    25401 Cabot Rd.
    Suite 113
    Laguna Hills, CA 92653
    Call 888-362-6529

    Santa Ana Bankruptcy
    930 West Seventeenth St.
    Suite C
    Santa Ana, CA 92706
    Call 714-795-3536

    Corona Bankruptcy
    1411 Rimpau Ave.
    Suite 108
    Corona, CA 92879
    Call 909-708-4597

    Moreno Valley Bankruptcy
    24490 Sunnymead Blvd.
    Suite 101
    Moreno Valley, CA 92553
    Call 951-579-4756

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    Suite 109
    Watsonville, CA 95076
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    Oceanside Bankruptcy
    1930 S Coast Hwy
    Suite 206
    Oceanside, CA 92054
    Call 760-450-3333

    Chula Vista Bankruptcy
    333 H Street
    Suite 5000
    Chula Vista, CA 91910
    Call 619-500-6535

    Escondido Bankruptcy
    320 East 2nd Ave.
    Suite 108
    Escondido, CA 92025
    Call 760-746-4476

    La Mesa Bankruptcy
    4817 Palm Ave.
    Suite I
    La Mesa, CA 91942
    Call 619-462-362

    San Diego Bankruptcy
    185 West F St
    Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Call 619-234-3626