California WildCard Exemption

California WildCard Exemption

Almost every state has an exemption for "any property" which is sometimes called the "wildcard" or "grubsteak" exemption. Generally this exemption is useful because it can be combined with other exemptions to fully protect equity that might otherwise go unprotected.
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California Wage Garnishment Exemption
 
California Homestead Exemption

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Last Reviewed: Tue, Mar 9, 2021

Wildcard Exemptions — State System

California Law Exemptions

None (use federal non-bankruptcy wage exemption)

Deposit Accounts  to amount "necessary for the support of the judgment debtor, as well as the judgment debtor’s spouse and dependents"(CCP 704.225.) Using this exemption, a family living paycheck to paycheck could likely exempt an entire account balance; however, courts have yet to weigh in on the new law. A debtor must assert this exemption for it to apply.

California Exemption System 1

California Exemption System 2

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Federal Non-Bankruptcy Wildcard Exemptions (none)

Wildcard Exemptions -- Federal System § 522(d)

Can California debtors use the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of California exemptions?

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 

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d) are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while,
  • or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

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Jurisdictional relevance: There are versions of this article for each State.
Selected State: California
California Wage Garnishment Exemption
 
California Homestead Exemption
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