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California Homestead Protections Increase as of January 1, 2021

The amount of equity you can protect in your home has likely at least tripled as of January 1, 2021. This is good news and rather timely for those considering a bankruptcy filing due to financial hardships caused by the pandemic. This is great news for many Californians that have seen fairly drastic home equity increases due to rising home values.

Here is the language of the new homestead exemption, which is set forth in California Code of Civil Procedure Section 704.730:

(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 homestead exemption in various counties near my office:

San Bernardino County $350,000 (approximately)

Riverside County $400,000 (approximately)