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If you have no real assets, but a lot of debt, which california exemption system is best 1 or 2 for chapter 7

Oakland, CA |

Not sure which California exemption system to use1 or 2. The value of the few assets I have will be exempt.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    I don't use the "1" and "2" labels for the two California sets of exemptions because it's to easy to mix up those names since they don't refer to anything specific. I use the 703 and 704 labels, which refer to the sections of the California code that contain them. The 703 set is the one that contains the "wildcard" exemption of $23,250 that's available if you don't need to exempt a home (your situation). Use can use that $23,250 exemption for anything or any combination of things, including to add additional exemption amounts to specific exemptions like for your car so it's all exempted.

    As other answers have said, exemptions are a tricky subject, as is all of bankruptcy, and you'd be well advised to use an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area.

    This reply does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship.


  2. You should retain bankruptcy counsel to help you with your petition and schedules. Otherwise, there is a substantial likelihood you will make a costly mistake. This is just the first of many questions you will have. The modest fee most attorneys charge for a simple Chapter 7 is well worth it.

    The exemption schedule you choose will depend on the nature and value of each asset. That being said, if you do not own real estate and therefore do not need to claim a substantial homestead exemption, generally the wildcard exemption provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 703.140(5) and the other exemptions provided in 703.140 provide the greatest protection of your assets.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  3. The fact that you are aware that there are two different exemptions available to you is a good start but as Mr. Raymude explained yu can still make very costly mistake by going this alone. If as you said you haveno real assets then the 703 exemption is your best choice.
    The important thing for you to consider is, what exactly are considered assets for bankruptcy purposes. You cannot afford to make a mistake when filing a Chapter 7 case.

    Remember that on this forum attorneys try to answer your questions with limited facts available to them. My answer should in no way be considered legal advice. No attorney client relationship has been formed by any answer give here.


  4. The 703 "wildcard" exemption is likely your best choice if you do not have a large amount of equity in your home. The only reason you would need to know this is if you are filing this bankruptcy pro per which is very risky. Given the question you asked above, my advice would be to seek an attorney to prepare your petition to ensure it is done correctly in order to avoid being dismissed.

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