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(Out of state) CA exemptions and rental security deposit

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  • (Out of state) CA exemptions and rental security deposit

    I left California less than two years back so will be using California exemptions for the Chapter 7 I'm filing (CA Chapter 13 dismissed early 2010 after I could not continue with plan). California provides no access to Federal exemptions and there is no wildcard exemption (whatever benefit the wildcard would have given me; I suppose it's not worthwhile to research that at this point).

    When I look at my old Chapter 13 paperwork, one of the odd things I see with respect to how exemptions were handled is that no rental deposit is listed. This means that I can't use it as a model for how to fill out my new paperwork (a lot of the forms are the same).

    Is there a California exemption that I can apply to a not insubstantial rental deposit after I put it wherever it goes? I'm concerned about whether my deposit is vulnerable to be taken and whether my landlord would end up involved in my bankruptcy even though my rent is current. Yes, bankruptcy records are public, but there's a difference between that and having the court contact my landlord--the impact on me would probably also be different. I saw an old thread saying that a trustee could take a rental security deposit. There was a new thread over the weekend where someone was reassured that it would be okay if they just listed the deposit but it didn't really say more. I'm not finding anything clearly applicable to deposits in the California exemption list and my google searching isn't helping much.

    Can anyone clear this up for me?

    Thank you.
    11/2008 - Filed Chapter 13
    02/2010 - Chapter 13 dismissed
    08/2010 - Filed Chapter 7 pro se in new district
    09/2010 - Chapter 7 341

  • #2
    I looked further and it appears that California has its own "wildcard" in 703.140(b)(5), which allows any unused part of the Homestead exemption to be used under California system 2 as a catch-all for otherwise uncovered property. It looks like this Homestead exemption can be used by renters as well -- that you do not need to own property to have access to it.

    So, perhaps this is how I can exempt my security deposit on my current rental, which must be listed as property I own (cash) that is not in my own possession.

    Can anyone confirm what I've learned here? Again, I'm no longer in California and am filing pro se as a Chapter 7 after having had my Chapter 13 dismissed for lack of adherence to the payment plan early this year. I have to use CA exemptions because I have not been in my new state for a full two years.

    If that Homestead exemption of some $21,000 is available to renters, that makes a huge difference in the amounts you can exempt since it's far and away much, much more than most of the other exemptions I've noted.

    Thanks.
    11/2008 - Filed Chapter 13
    02/2010 - Chapter 13 dismissed
    08/2010 - Filed Chapter 7 pro se in new district
    09/2010 - Chapter 7 341

    Comment


    • #3
      I am in CA and about to file Ch 7. I've spoken with two attorneys and trying to determine whether to go pro se or attempt to somehow come up with their fees. Bottom line, both told me that my security deposit (renter) and my wife's jewelry can be covered under wildcard.
      Stopped paying: 08/10, Filed CH7: 08/27/10 , 341 & No Asset Report: 10/6/10, Last day to object: 12/06/10, Discharged: 12/07/10, Closed: 12/08/10
      AHEM.....NOT AN ATTORNEY, NOT ADVICE, ETC, ETC

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks much for telling me what's been said in your consultations. That's very reassuring to me. The exemption form is one of the last few I have to finish off.

        Good luck to you.
        11/2008 - Filed Chapter 13
        02/2010 - Chapter 13 dismissed
        08/2010 - Filed Chapter 7 pro se in new district
        09/2010 - Chapter 7 341

        Comment


        • #5
          Oops- duplicate info, its already covered.
          Get mortgage modified: DONE! 7 months of back interest payments amortized, payment reduced over $200/mo
          (In the 'planning' stage, to file ch. 13 if/when we have to.)

          Comment


          • #6
            It may not be entirely covered.

            Last night when I was looking at some exemption information I realized that I'd overlooked something. Apparently if the federal exemptions are available in the state in which you'll be filing, you can use them regardless of how long you've been there. See:

            http://www.legalconsumer.com/bankrup...php?ST=CA#Help

            Because I'm filing in such a state, I could have used the federal exemptions. I didn't know this and since I'm pro se and CA is my old state, it felt comfortable to use the CA exemptions that my CA attorneys used on my dismissed Chapter 13. So that's what I've got going at this point. CA system 2 allows the use of a CA homestead exemption as a wildcard and that seems to cover me well anyway.
            11/2008 - Filed Chapter 13
            02/2010 - Chapter 13 dismissed
            08/2010 - Filed Chapter 7 pro se in new district
            09/2010 - Chapter 7 341

            Comment

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