Can you believe that in 2016, a woman has to get her husband’s permission to choose bankruptcy exemptions?
Is this the Middle East?
No, it’s existing California law.
And there’s a bill coming up for a vote in August to change it.
Only a swath of Assembly representatives seem to think pleasing the financial industry is more important.
What do you think?
SB 308 eliminates the spousal waiver
Current California law requires that when one spouse files bankruptcy, the non filing spouse must consent before the filer can choose the California bankruptcy exemptions.
Need to file bankruptcy, but can’t find your estranged spouse? Spouse playing power games? Too bad.
You’re stuck with the regular exemptions, which probably aren’t the best if you don’t have a ton of equity in a home.
A bill pending in the California Assembly, SB 308, would eliminate the stranglehold of the missing or hostile spouse on a woman’s choice of exemptions.
It also protects child support, family support and alimony from creditors.
The bill has lots of other appealing features that benefit everyone: increases in the homestead and car exemptions; protection for vacation, sick pay, and leave credits; and a small exemption for the self employed to protect cash, receivables, or inventory.
But nothing is as ground breaking and essential as freeing wives separated from their spouses from this archaic form of financial dependence.
Bankers don’t care
The last time SB 308 came up for a vote in Sacramento, bankers told the legislators that the bill only benefited the wealthy.
Seems incredible, but that’s how it came down.
And lots of Assembly representatives chose to be “absent” that day, rather than overtly stand up to the financial services industry.
Senator Wieckowski’s bill is expected to get a second chance at passage here at session’s end.
Women and those who support their right to financial independence need to tell their Assembly representative to represent woman and vote YES.
You can find your Assembly representative by typing in your zip code. Ask for a YES vote on SB 308.
Or, even simpler, use Voter Voice to find your representative and send a predrafted letter of support for the bill.
Women got the vote in 1920. The vote is only powerful if you use it.