Homestead Exemptions in California Protect Your Home Part I
Homestead Exemptions in California
Protect Your Home
A homestead exemption can protect a homeowner’s principal residence from creditors against loss in the case of bankruptcy, judgment or death of a spouse. The California Constitution (Cal. Const. Art. XX, § 1.5 ) protects a homestead: “[t]he Legislature shall protect, by law, from forced sale a certain portion of the homestead and other property of all heads of families.”
A homestead exemption can ensure a living place for the family, where they may reside and enjoy the comforts of a home, free from any anxiety that it may be taken from them against their will, either by reason of their own necessity or improvidence, or from the importunity of their creditors.
Before January 1, 2021, the homestead exemptions in California were $75,000 for a single homeowner, $100,000 for a married couple, and $175,000 for families who met specific requirements. Effective January 1, 2021, the homestead is the minimum is $300,000 and the maximum is $600,000:
- (a ) The amount of the homestead exemption is the greater of the following:
- (1) The countywide median sale price for a single-family home in the calendar year prior to the calendar year in which the judgment debtor claims the exemption, not to exceed six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000).
- (2) Three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000).
- (b) The amounts specified in this section shall adjust annually for inflation, beginning on January 1, 2022, based on the change in the annual California Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the prior fiscal year, published by the Department of Industrial Relations.
The California Court suggested the increase for 2022 was 9.123% higher, although the exact amount may be subject to calculation based on the following for California’s major metropolitan areas:
- •Los Angeles County: $600,000
- •Riverside County: $557,000 – $600,000
- •San Bernardino County: $424,000 –519,235
- •Orange County: $600,000
- •San Diego County: $600,000
- •San Francisco County: $600,000
Here is the formula for the calculation:
We will discuss how the homestead exemptions are used in bankruptcies, collection of judgments and other matters in future updates. For now, please know that Epps & Coulson, LLP attorneys practice in the following areas:
- •Judgment Collections
- •Business Bankruptcy
- •Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- •Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- •Bankruptcy Adversary Proceedings
- •Bankruptcy Non-dischargeability Proceedings
- •Involuntary Bankruptcy
- •Bankruptcy & Divorce
- •Creditor Representation
Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney. It is likely considered advertising. Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call to discuss these matters as they apply to you or your business.