Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Available?
No. Federal exemptions not available. Instead, California has two systems of exemptions, one of which closely mirrors the federal scheme. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 703.130
Background of state "opt out" laws
Every state has a list of exemptions that protect specific types and amounts of property from collections on judgements within that state.
When bankruptcy law was first modernized 50 years ago, the proposal was to have a federal list of bankruptcy exemptions apply uniformly across all 50 states. Many states objected to this idea, because state collection law had traditionally ruled that issues of collections and "asset protection" were matters of state, not federal law. So a compromise was struck, that allows states to "opt out" of the federal bankruptcy exemptions.
Debtors in the following States can use the federal exemptions:
Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin.