NEW HIGHER HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION IN CALIFORNIA
A common mis-conception
that we hear from potential clients consulting our firm for the first time is that their home would be sold if they file bankruptcy.
This is not the case if the available equity in a debtor's home is exempt from liquidation.
allows each state to determine what the residents of the state may keep when filing bankruptcy (exemptions from liquidation)
if a state "opts out" of the federal exemption system. California created not one, but two, sets of exemptions,
which have long been reputed to be the most generous in the country.
However, the benefits
to debtors of California's once-generous homestead exemption have steadily eroded, as property values in this state climbed.
Even rare periodic adjustments failed to keep up with California's soaring property values.
On September 15, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1885 which dramatically increases
the homestead exemption for personal residences in California. The new law is effective for cases filed on or after
January 1, 2020.
The new homestead exemption is increased significantly to $300,000. -- but may increase
up to $600,000. based on the median sale price of single-family homes within the county where the debtor resides.
For those residents of Orange County, and Los Angeles County, this means that the exemption
will increase by up to eight times in some cases.
The increased homestead exemption will also be annually indexed
to keep pace with future inflation.
This is all very good news for beleaguered California
homeowners who are facing increased financial pressure due to the pandemic and social unrest all but shutting down the California
At the Law Offices of Kaufman & Kaufman, we are proud that an attorney -- not a paralegal
-- will review our clients' financial situations, to determine and advise the best course of action, including both bankruptcy
and non-bankruptcy alternatives.
The information contained in
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BREAKING NEWS FROM WASHINGTON Today the President signed into law four bipartisan, bicameral bills passed by Congress:
H.R. 2336, the "Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019," which increases the debt limit used to determine
whether a family farmer is eligible for relief under chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code;
H.R. 2938, the "Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act of 2019" (HAVEN
Act) which excludes from the calculation of monthly income, for purposes of the Bankruptcy Code's means test, certain benefits
paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense;
H.R. 3304, the "National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act of 2019," which extends
for 4 years, through December 18, 2023, the exemption from certain bankruptcy means-testing for members of the National Guard
and reservists of the Armed Forces;
H.R. 3311, the "Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019," which establishes
a subchapter within chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code under which small business debtors can reorganize using more simplified
and expedited procedures.
Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing History As Been Made.....
The Bankruptcy court recently announced a new pilot project aimed at speeding up notices from the Bankruptcy Court to
debtors. The Bankruptcy Court selected certain law firms handling bankruptcy cases to assist with the testing of a pilot
program called & Debtor
Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing; or DeBN & DeBN allows
debtors to elect to receive entered orders and court-generated notices by email instead of by regular mail.
four bankruptcy courts are participating in this pilot
program and California-Central is one of them.
& Kaufman became the first bankruptcy firm to participate in the DeBN Project at the U.S Bankruptcy Court California-Central
Location. Our bankruptcy office was also the first to electronically-file the DeBN form on-line for our client.
we made HISTORY! This is a huge step in our ability to use the electronic system to our clients' advantage -- allowing
our clients to receive notices from the court far more rapidly than
via the US postal service.
The ability for
the debtor to receive court orders and court-
generated notices by email has several advantages:
Its fast - Debtors
receive court orders and court-generated
notices the same day that their attorney does.
Its convenient - Debtors
can read and/or save the court orders and notices on their mobile device, iPad, and home computer.
Its free - Court
orders and court-generated notices can be viewed
an unlimited number of times on the debtor's mobile device
or home computer at no charge.
Its green - less paper clutter.
To request more information to use this services
to file your
Kaufman. We are located at 1001 N Ross St Santa Ana, CA.
#ocbankruptcy #occourts #ocbk #ocattorney
STEPS TO FILE BANKRUPTCY Orange County, Ca
There are a number of steps which must be completed before your bankruptcy protection begins
A Petition must be
prepared and filed with the Bankruptcy Court,
along with Schedules and attachments, including a Means Test and Certificate
of Completion of Pre-Petition Credit Counseling.
Prior to filing it is important to gather the information
to complete a Bankruptcy Petition. The best source for
information regarding your assets and creditors is your own
records. You may also find it helpful to obtain a credit report
to refresh your recollection as to your creditors.
YOU DO NOT
NEED TO SUBMIT COPIES OF YOUR BILLS.
Evaluation of the information including your assets and creditors,
and available exemptions, will assist in determining whether you
need to file a bankruptcy case, and if so, which
Once prepared and carefully reviewed, the Petition is signed under
perjury, and filed with the Bankruptcy Court.
About 30 days after your Petition is filed, you are required to
attend an administrative hearing. This is conducted by an
appointed Trustee (not a judge). At the hearing you will be
in, and examined on the information under oath by the appointed
Trustee, and you may also be called upon
to submit documents or
Prior to your Meeting of Creditors, you are required to submit
the trustee a copy of your Federal income tax return for the most
recent tax year ending immediately before
the commencement of the case, for which a Federal income tax return was filed (You have the option of providing a transcript
of your return instead).
You are also required to produce certain personal identification
at your hearing, including
government-issued photo identification
and evidence of your Social Security number.
Some Trustees also require
you to submit additional information
prior to the hearing.
Attorneys charge different amounts for filing a bankruptcy.
Some attorneys charge a flat-fee, while others may add charges for services performed later, some attorneys charge hourly.
Some attorneys who charge reduced rates will not appear with you
at your hearing and will instead hire an "appearance
attorney" or a "contract attorney" to "sit in" for them at your hearing. Be
sure to ask your prospective attorney if they use "contract
Some attorneys who
charge reduced rates will not themselves
perform all of the professional services on your case, but may
use "paralegals" to do the work on their behalf. Be sure to ask your prospective attorney if they use
In some cases there are some services which are not included in
the initial retainer
fee you may pay. Although rare, in the event
that a Motion for Relief from Stay, or another form of adversary
proceeding is filed against you by a creditor, or the trustee; or
if you wish to remove a lien against exempt property,
or appear at
a reaffirmation hearing, additional fees may be required if you
wish a lawyer to represent you in
Some firms say they "will take payments". However all fees must be paid before your
case is filed (except in a Chapter 13). So ask your prospective attorney if they will allow you to make
your case is filed -- not likely.