Riverside Bankruptcy Exemptions

Under bankruptcy law, debtors are allowed to “exempt” certain items from the bankruptcy estate so that they are immune from liquidation by the bankruptcy trustee. Listed below are some of the most common California exemptions that can be used in a Riverside bankruptcy.

Equity in a Home: As long as you have lived in California for the last 40 months, you can exempt up to

  • $50,000 if single
  • $75,000 for a family
  • $150,000 if you are 65 or older, physically disabled, or mentally disabled
  • $150,000 if creditors are seeking to force the sale of your home AND you are either 55 years old or older, single, and earn under $15,000 per year OR you are 55 years old or older, married, and earn under $20,000 per year

Sale proceeds will be exempt for up to 6 months after sale.

Personal Property: You can exempt the following

  • Normal household goods, up to $500 each (examples: food, clothing, appliances, and home furnishings)
  • Building materials to repair or improve your home up to $2,300
  • Jewelry, heirlooms, and art up to $6,075 total
  • Motor vehicle or insurance if your vehicle is lost, destroyed or damaged, up to $2,300
  • Bank deposits from the social security administration up to $2,435 if you are single, $3,650 for a married couple.
  • Burial plots
  • Health aids

Wages: You can exempt the following

  • 75% of wages paid within 30 days prior to filing bankruptcy
  • Public employee vacation credits, 75% minimum if receiving installment payments


  • Public retirement benefits
  • Private retirement benefits to extent tax-deferred, including IRA and Keogh
  • Public, county, peace officers, and fire fighters pensions are all exempt

Public Benefits:

  • Unemployment benefits
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Financial aid to students

There are additional exemptions beyond this list.  Please call our office with any questions about the items listed above or any other property.


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