If you file for bankruptcy in California and are eligible to use California’s bankruptcy exemptions, you can choose from two exemption systems, often called System 1 and System 2.
In California’s System 1, single homeowners who are not disabled may exempt up to $75,000 of the equity in their home or other property covered by the homestead exemption. You may exempt up to $100,000 if you live with a family member; $175,000 if you are 65 or older, or physically or mentally disabled; $175,000 if 55 or older, single, and earn a gross annual income under $15,000 or are married and earn a gross annual income under $20,000 and creditors seek to force the sale of your home. If you are married but separated, you may claim the homestead exemption in community property occupied by your spouse.
In California’s System 2, homeowners can exempt up to $24,060 of the equity in their home.
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