Thinking of filing for bankruptcy in Oakland or nearby, but worried about what will happen to your house? When you hear the word “homestead” do you start thinking about the Ponderosa, the Cartwrights and six-shooters? Speaking of “Bonanza,” didn’t it always bother you that the same parents who produced Adam and Little Joe could also give life to Hoss–and what kind of a name is Hoss, anyway?
It turns out that the term homestead still has meaning in our modern day. Homestead is actually a legal term for property that a property owner is claiming as his residence. Under California law, residents are allowed to protect their homesteads from demands of creditors up to certain values depending on their age and the size and makeup of their family.
As of 2012, a single person can protect up to $75,000 of equity in his homestead. If we’re talking about a married couple or someone living with his minor children, they can protect $100,000 of equity in their homestead. If the homeowner is over the age of 65, he can protect up to $175,000 of equity whether he’s married or not.
There are a bunch of other rules for homesteads besides these common ones.
So if you file for bankruptcy with an Oakland bankruptcy attorney, that bankruptcy attorney will take a look at how much you owe on your house and how much your house is worth. As long as you are able to exempt (protect) all the equity in your house with one of the homestead bankruptcy exemptions, you should be fine when you file your bankruptcy case to wipe out your credit cards, some taxes, medical bills and other stuff in collections.
Since homesteads in bankruptcy can be kind of complicated, you really should talk to a bankruptcy lawyer in Oakland or nearby. There are a number of good ones, including the one who wrote this article. Good luck to you with your bankruptcy plans.