The triennial adjustment of California exemption amounts becomes effective April 1. And it’s no joke.
The new exemption numbers will protect more value in cash and assets necessary for everyday living.
Exemptions define the assets that are safe from creditors in bankruptcy. The CCP 704 exemptions are also available outside of bankruptcy when judgment creditors try to collect.
California bankruptcy exemptions
Californians have a special set of exemptions available only in bankruptcy, since state law prohibits them from claiming the federal bankruptcy exemptions. Those exemptions are found in CCP 703.140. (As of this writing, online versions of the code don’t reflect today’s increased numbers.)
Here are the new numbers
|Equity in a residence||31,950|
|Equity in one or more motor vehicles||6,375|
|Household goods, clothing, books, animals, musical instrument (value of each item)||800|
|Grub stake (also called wild card) unused amount of residential exemption, plus||1,700|
|Tools of the trade, implements or professional books||9,525|
|Insurance loan value in policy on debtor or someone on whom debtor is dependent||17,025|
|Personal injury claim or recovery||31,950|
More exemptions are included in the California bankruptcy exemptions; this list covers only the exemptions that have a cap on the amount of the exemptions.
California state exemptions
The other exemption system that Californians can choose in bankruptcy applies also outside of bankruptcy. These classic exemptions are found in CCP 704. Where those exemptions have a dollar cap, the numbers have increased as well.
|Material for repair or maintain residence||3,825|
|Jewelry, heirlooms, art||9,525|
|Tools of the trade||9,525|
|Money in a deposit account||1,826|
|Public benefits (per person)||1,900|
|Loan value of unmatured life insurance policies||15,525|
Just like the California bankruptcy exemptions, the full list of exempt property is longer. Again, these are the exemptions, other than the homestead, that have a dollar limit.
California homestead for 2022
The California homestead got a real makeover in 2021. Not only was the homestead amount pegged to the median sales price of homes in the county in the prior year, the cap on the exemption adjusts annually for inflation.
The new homestead as enacted in 2021 had a minimum value of $300,000 and a maximum of $600,000, independent of the value of homes sold in the county. The minimum and the maximum value was adjusted January 1, 2022, and will adjust annually going forward.
For 2022, the adjusted California homestead minimum is $313,200 and the cap is $626,400.
How The Homestead Exemption Works
Saving Your House From Foreclosure