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I believe I need a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I own houses in other states. I was wondering what law will govern those houses?

Irvine, CA |

I own a house in CA and houses in other states. And I do not know how bankruptcy will affect these properties. I understand CA has its own set of exemptions as well as its own marital property law. So I was wondering about the following 2 questions:

1) Would my property in Oregon, which is solely in my name, belong to my wife at all? 2) And would I be able to exempt the Oregon property under Oregon exemptions or would I use CA exemptions. Knowing this info will help me decide if I can file.

Attorney Answers 4


If you file in CA, you will have to use the CA exemptions. Your Oregon property vested in your name alone, and if not acquired during marriage would remain your separate property.

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Filemon Kevin Samson

Filemon Kevin Samson


Remember that you must meet the Liquidation Calculation rule when proposing your Chapter 13 Payment Plan. Depending on the debtor's financial circumstances, generally a Chapter 13 plan should provide for no fewer payments to creditors than they would be entitled to receive if the debtor's non-exempt assets were liquidated in Chapter 7.


When one files bk one must use the exemptions applicable to the state in which one files subject to certain residency requirements imposed by the bk code to prevent folks from relocating to a state just to take advantage of more generous exemption statutes. If you reside in CA, then presumably you will have to use CA exemptions unless you have not lived there long enough. If you have not lived there long enough, which is basically for the two years prior to filing, then you would either have to use the state exemption for the state in which you resided for the greater part of the two years prior to filing (for a more detailed and accurate statement of the law, consult an attorney) if the state in which you reside restricts their exemptions to residents of that state, you get to use the federal exemptions.

Merely filing bk does not grant your spouse an ownership interest that she would not otherwise have had.

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You do realize that when you file Ch13 you do not lose any property. If you have considerable equity in the other properties, however, you would have to pay that amount to your unsecured creditors ... but you'd get up to 5 yrs to do it.

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I agree with the previous responses and would add that if you file chapter 13 correctly, your properties should not be affected at all. Additionally, you can file individually or jointly with your wife.

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