Each state has its own laws that dictate the exemptions an individual can claim when filing for bankruptcy. The state of California requires that any individual who wishes to claim certain property and assets as exempt from his or her bankruptcy proceeding, must use the exemptions afforded by state laws. The federal exemptions found in the U.S. bankruptcy code cannot be used here in our state. In certain instances individuals may be able to claim specific "non-bankruptcy" exemptions for a portion of their wages, veteran benefits, Social Security benefits or benefits available to those in civil service jobs.
We advise that any individual who is considering filing for bankruptcy obtain legal counsel before making any final decisions. As a general rule of thumb, those filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection will be able to claim a portion of any real or personal property they occupy, part of the value of a car, truck or other automobile, a limited amount of jewelry, art, equipment, furnishings, tools and other property, as well as a percentage of the wages that were earned up to 30 days prior to filing. All non-exempt property and assets can be liquidated by your bankruptcy trustee and used to pay off unpaid debt. As a result of the various exemption laws, and with the help of a skilled attorney, many individuals will get to retain the majority of their possessions and property.
As each bankruptcy case is different, it is vital that you review your particular situation and individual finances with an experienced San Francisco bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at The Bankruptcy Law Firm have helped thousands of people file for bankruptcy so as to alleviate their financial woes and get the fresh start they deserve. The Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF) has listed us as one of the Top 100 Firms and we are one of only a few firms who has a certified bankruptcy specialist to guide you through the entire bankruptcy process. We understand how difficult it can be to find yourself on the brink of financial disaster, but with our knowledge staff and legal expertise, you can trust that your case is in good hands. If you want to find out if bankruptcy may be right for you, call our firm so that we can help you review your debt relief options and advise you on how to proceed.