I agree with Mr. Whitaker, but I would add that it sounds like your are trying to do this on your own and that is a really bad idea. For most of my clients, the 703 exemptions are the better option and an experienced attorney can help guide you through this to minimize the risk of loss.
A woman called my office just yesterday that had made several mistakes in her bankruptcy. Those mistakes are causing her to lose a property with $100,000 of equity that she could have saved with the proper planning.
First, the firm is a debt relief agency according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We help people file for bankruptcy. We also do other stuff and we do it well, but Congress wants me to post this notice. Second, nothing on this site is legal advice. You are not my client unless you enter into a written agreement signed by you and me.
The exemption applies to property that would otherwise go to the bankruptcy estate but for the fact that it is exempted. You and your wife can apply the exemption to your community and separate property listed in your bankruptcy petition and schedules.
Depending on your financial circumstances, there may be other exemptions or options available to you under the Bankruptcy Code to protect all of your property while receiving a discharge of your personal liability for debts. A thorough analysis of your income, property, assets, liabilities, debts and financial circumstances should be done to ensure you are categorizing your property and debts correctly and applying the correct exemptions appropriately.
Note: The statements or comments provided herein are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice as to any particular individual or instance. Samson & Associates does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and a representative of Samson & Associates, and all fees listed in the agreement have been paid.