I did live in WA for more than 2yrs prior to moving to AZ. My understanding is that I can use WA exemption RCW 6.13.010 for the Homestead exemption and RCW 6.15.010 for the Personal property, such as autos, furnishings, etc. Is this correct? Also, on the Schedule C do I mark 522(b)(3)?
These questions always sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, as all of us realize, you are in over your head. We may be able to tell you "yes, these exemptions apply" in this instance, but you'll have another question and yet another. Exemption use and planning is one of the more complex issues with your filing and as it appears you have assets (at least a homestead), you absolutely should not do this alone. Wouldn't you hate to file, find out you have made an error and then have the trustee sell your home? Ouch!
Estate Planning Attorney
My colleague from WI makes several good points. I will add that there are other considerations that just where you lived prior to AZ involved when planning and determining the correct exemptions. The initial question is how long have you been in AZ? The answer to that question alone may determine which exemptions you take - AZ, WA or Federal. Also, for most state's exemptions the "homestead" exemption can only be used on property within that particular state - i.e. it is possible to live in AZ, own a home in AZ, but have to use the WA exemptions and the WA homestead exemption may not apply to the AZ property and you cannot take AZ exemptions - this would be the "ouch" point my colleague from WI was pointing out.
Therefore, I wholeheartedly agree with the advice to not pursue filing a bankruptcy (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) without the advice and assistance of a qualified, experienced bankruptcy attorney.
In any event, in order to provide you with further information regarding exemption planning it would be necessary to discuss the situation in detail and gather additional facts before giving you definitive advice/information. You should probably discuss this with and retain an attorney to assist you in order to avoid problems - like losing your home.
While I realize many people, including you in this instance, want to handle matters themselves, for this one (a bankruptcy where you apparently have assets that need to be properly protected or they could be sold by the trustee), you should meet with a qualified, experienced bankruptcy attorney (I have experience with these type of cases) for a consultation so that the attorney can gather all the necesasry facts and provide you with useful information to handle the matter yourself, or to assist you with the situation.
Also, please remember, this is a public forum and anything posted here is not privileged or confidential, so do not post more specific information here. Contact a local attorney for a confidential and privileged consultation.
I invite you to use the links available on this page to locate my avvo.com profile and CONTACT ME AT MY OFFICE for a personal consultation, because the information provided in the above answer is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be legal advice. It is general information that is incomplete and may not specifically apply to your particular circumstances, so you should not act upon it until discussing your situation with an Arizona attorney. Every case is unique. Most legal principles have important exceptions that may apply in your case. You should actually talk to an Arizona lawyer regarding your situation before taking any action or declining to take action. As mentioned above, I invite you to contact my office, but please note that contacting my office in any way, submitting your question on this site, my general response above, and any further communication whether electronically, by letter, or by telephone, does not create an attorney/client relationship. You will know when my office represents you because you will have received a signed representation agreement. Please do not send or communicate any confidential information until you receive a signed representation agreement with an attorney.
Generally the deciding factor is where you lived during the 2 years immediately preceding the date of your bankruptcy filing. (Not how long you lived in the state before you moved to Arizona). Without exact dates of when you moved to Arizona and how long you have stayed here, there is no way to get an answer to your question.
I generally agree that if you have assets which you risk losing, you need an attorney. Good luck
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