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How much Cash can I exempt using Federal Exemptions?

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  • How much Cash can I exempt using Federal Exemptions?

    I will have around $12,000 cash on the date of my filing. (Could be less). I do not have a home or automobile. Just a suitcase and a laptop for work. I thought I would be able to use California's Exemptions bc using the 180 day rule I was living in Los Angeles and over the past 2 years I have been living on the road in a different city/state almost everyday. The Florida Atty I spoke with said bc I haven't lived anywhere over the past 2 years that I would have to use Federal. Is this correct? If so, would I be able to exempt that $12,000 cash? Thanks!

  • #2
    an impromptu google search reports the following:

    Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions
    Homestead $21,625*
    $550 per item in any household goods up to a total of $11,525;
    $11,525
    Jewelry $1,450
    Motor vehicle $3,450
    Tools of trade - books and equipment $2,175

    * unused portion of homestead to $10,825 may be applied to any property
    NOTE: These are the major bankruptcy exemptions, effective April 1, 2010.
    Check with your bankruptcy lawyer for a full exemptions list.
    8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

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    • #3
      From what I understood, if are not a homeowner, you couldn't use the homestead exemption. Which means you would have to use the wildcard, which is only $1450.
      I may be smarter than an attorney, but I'm not one. No legal advice here, people.
      Filed Ch. 7 pro se on 10/22/10 341 on 11/19/10 Report of No Distribution Filed on 11/19/10 Discharged 1/19/11 Closed 2/2/11

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dumpinmydebt View Post
        From what I understood, if are not a homeowner, you couldn't use the homestead exemption. Which means you would have to use the wildcard, which is only $1450.
        That was also my understanding - no real property means you have no homestead exemption. I'll be interested if that is not the case.
        Filed Ch 7 Pro Se 11-18-2010 341 Meeting 12-16-2010 Discharged 2-15-2011
        New Job 7-2011

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        • #5
          Originally posted by chicagoannie View Post
          That was also my understanding - no real property means you have no homestead exemption. I'll be interested if that is not the case.
          The Nolo book claims that the Federal unused homestead wildcard applies if you don't own a home. They have a specific example of a debtor who doesn't own a home using it. Page 63, if Google is correct. Apparently, when the law says "unused homestead exemption as a wildcard" it means exactly that; the fact that it's unused because you had no home to exempt is irrelevant.
          3/7/11 -

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          • #6
            The attorney that we met with told us the same thing: because we don't own a home, we can use the homestead exemption for other property that an exemption doesn't completely cover, such as we have 3 cars (one is disabled) that are all paid off, but are worth more than the exemption amount allowed for vehicles. I believe she told us we could use the homestead exemption for our cars. We are filing in WA, but using CA exemptions because we just moved to WA 6 months ago.

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            • #7
              randian,

              As far as the federal law goes it DOESN'T say "unused homestead exemption as a wildcard". In fact, it doesn't use the word "wildcard" at all. See 11 USC 522(d)(5). What it does say is "of any unused amount of the exemption provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection."

              I'm interested in this issue because I'm probably close to the max on my other relevant exemptions. I doubt I'll have to worry because it's mostly valueless books and clothes that the Trustee won't be interested in, but I'd still like to know the answer as I don't have any that falls under the homestead exemption.

              Anyone please post if you find a definitive answer on this in law (like case law or something)! Seeing as people of posted conflicting answers as to what attorneys have told them, at least one is likely to be wrong!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by njbk7 View Post
                As far as the federal law goes it DOESN'T say "unused homestead exemption as a wildcard". In fact, it doesn't use the word "wildcard" at all. See 11 USC 522(d)(5). What it does say is "of any unused amount of the exemption provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection."
                The difference would be?
                3/7/11 -

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                • #9
                  Well if you're relying on the term "wildcard", as you suggest in your post, to help figure out how to apply your exemptions, you should be aware that the term isn't used in the law.

                  The more important question is if you can still use the allowed portion of an unused homestead exemption if you have no homestead. I've seen nothing to answer that so far

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                  • #10
                    It is "commonly" referred to as a wildcard exemption. And you can use up to half of the homestead exemption which calculates out to $8,725. This site lists the exemptions and their corresponding codes. Hope this helps!

                    http://www.bankruptcyinformation.com/exemp-fed.htm
                    Filed pro se, made it through the 341, discharged, Closed!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by free2breathe View Post
                      It is "commonly" referred to as a wildcard exemption. And you can use up to half of the homestead exemption which calculates out to $8,725. This site lists the exemptions and their corresponding codes. Hope this helps!

                      http://www.bankruptcyinformation.com/exemp-fed.htm
                      How current is that link? The following link (on THIS site) says

                      522(d)(1) Real property, including mobile homes and co-ops, or burial plots up to $20,200. Unused portion, up to $10,125, may be used for other property.
                      http://www.bkforum.com/wiki/Federal_Exemptions

                      The same link also shows the following:
                      522(d)(5) - $1,075 of any property, and unused portion of homestead up to $10,125.
                      So I guess the only question is whether or not you have to use a portion of the homestead exemption for RE to be able to use the rest. It seems to me that if I don't own a home (burial plot, etc) then the unused portion of the homestead would be 100% of the exemption. And that I should be able to use the "up to xx dollars" part for other property.

                      EDIT: I am interested in this as well. I don't own any real estate and planned to use the Federal Exemptions because I wanted the wildcard to apply to property that isn't covered in other categories.
                      Last edited by doni49; 12-15-2010, 11:00 AM.
                      Don
                      Filed Pro Se on 8/4/11 (No Asset, Chapter 7)
                      Redeemed Automobile ProSe (722 Redemption),Discharged on 11/3/11

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The current (as of April 1, 2010) "wildcard" is $10,825. See the federal register. Volume 75, that's this year, page 8747. (75 F.R. 8747)

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