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What exemptions can I take?

When you file for bankruptcy in California, you may expect that the court will seize your assets. While this is true, there are exemptions you can take to save some of your assets. The idea behind exemptions is to allow you to retain some property to rebuild with after the bankruptcy process is complete. There is a range of exemptions for various types of property. However, the ones people are often most concerned with are those assets that they use daily, such as their home, vehicle and professional tools.

According to The Judicial Branch of California, each exemption is given as a dollar amount. This means you may exempt property that is worth no more than the amount given. For example, you may keep one piece of real property, such as your home, that is valued at no more than $26,800. You may also retain a motor vehicle worth up to $5,350.

While you can usually keep your personal items, such as clothing, if you have pricey household goods, you can keep one item worth up to $675. Do note this applies to items of high value. Another example in this category is jewelry. You can probably keep any costume jewelry since its value is low, but if you have expensive pieces, you may keep one valued at up to $1,600. If you have professional tools or books you use in your job, you may keep them up to a value of $8,000.

When it comes to money or related items, you may keep up to $26,800 of a personal injury payment. If you have life insurance, you may keep a policy valued up to $14,325. Keep in mind there are many more exemptions and the amounts change to reflect inflation, so you need to verify them during your case. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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