Exemptions (Assets Protected)


This California bankruptcy exemptions table has been updated pursuant to the revisions published by the Judicial Council of the Administrative Office of the Courts of California. California bankruptcy exemption amounts get adjusted periodically to account for inflation. These bankruptcy exemptions were last updated by the California Judicial Council to adjust for inflation on April 1, 2016.

This information is not intended to be legal advice and is only to show the differences in the systems. WARNING: Laws and regulations are subject to change. As a result, the accuracy of this exemption list is not guaranteed. Check the specific California Code Sections for any changes.

California – System 1 (updates effective 4/1/2016)
CALIFORNIA BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTIONS UNDER CCP §703.140 California – System 2 (effective 4/1/2016)
Homestead (Subject to residency requirement)
Real or personal property you occupy including mobile home, boat, stock cooperative, community apartment, planned development or condo to $75,000 if single and not disabled; $100,000 for families if no other member has a homestead (if only one spouse files, may exempt one-half of amount if home held as community property and all the amount if home held as tenants in common; $175,000 if 65 or older, or physically or mentally disabled; $175,000 if 55 or older, single & earn under $25,000 or married & earn under $35,000
Real or personal property, including co-op, used as residence to $28,800; unused part of homestead may be applied to any property.See Wild Card Below.
  • Disability or health benefits
  • Fidelity bonds
  • Fraternal unemployment benefits
  • Homeowners' insurance proceeds for 6 months after received, to Homestead Exemption amount
  • Life insurance proceeds if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary's creditors
  • Matured life insurance benefits needed for support
  • Unmatured life insurance policy loan value to $12,200 (husband and wife may double)
  • Disability benefits
  • Life insurance proceeds needed for support of family
  • Cash or loan value of unmatured life insurance contract accrued to $14,325
  • Unmatured life insurance policy other than credit
  • Business or professional licenses, except liquor licenses (708.630)
  • Inmates' trust funds to $1,525 (husband and wife may double)
  • Property of business partnership
Alimony, Child Support needed for support
  • County employees
  • County firefighters
  • County peace officers
  • Private retirement benefits, including IRAs & Keoghs
  • Public employees
  • Public retirement benefits
ERISA-qualified benefits needed for support
Personal Property
  • Appliances, furnishings, clothing and food needed
  • Bank deposits from Social Security Administration to $2,875; $4,300 for husband and wife
  • Building materials to $3,050 to repair or improve home
  • Burial plot
  • Health aids
  • Jewelry, heirlooms & art to $7,175
  • Motor vehicle to $2,900, or $2,900 in auto insurance if vehicle(s) is lost, damaged or destroyed
  • Personal injury causes of action
  • Personal injury recoveries needed for support; if receiving installments, at least 75%
  • Wrongful death causes of action
  • Wrongful death recoveries needed for support; if receiving installments, at least 75%
  • Animals, crops, appliances, furnishings, household goods, books, musical instruments & clothing to $675 per item
  • Burial plot to $25,575, in lieu of Homestead
  • Health aids
  • Jewelry to $1,600
  • One or more motor vehicles to $5,350
  • Personal injury recovery to $25,575 (not excluding pain and suffering or pecuniary loss)
  • Wrongful death recoveries needed for support
  • Payment for loss of future earnings
Public Benefits
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Social Security Deposit account Bal. $3,050-$4,575
  • Public Benefits
  • Public Benefits Deposit Account Bal. $1,525-$2,275
  • Aid to blind, aged, disabled, AFDC
  • Financial Aid to students
  • Relocation benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Union benefits due to labor dispute
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Crime victims' compensation
  • Public Assistance
  • Social Security Unemployment compensation
  • Veterans' benefits
Tools of Trade Tools, implements, materials, instruments, uniforms, books, furnishings, equipment, vessel, one commercial motor vehicle (max. $4,850 or $9,700 with joint occupation) up to $7625 individually or $15,250 if used by both spouses in same occupation (cannot claim motor vehicle under Tools of Trade Exemption if claimed under Motor Vehicle Exemption) Implements, books and tools of trade to $8,000
  • Public employees' vacation credits; if receiving installments, at least 75%
  • 75% of wages paid within 30 days of filing for bankruptcy
Wild Card None $1,425 of any personal property plus any unused portion of Homestead Exemption, to be partially or wholly applied to any other property (total maximum Wild Card available – $28.225).


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