As in all states, a bankruptcy judge may allow a debtor to keep his or her home if he or she is able to make the mortgage payments on the property and if the debtor does not hold much more equity in the property than that which is allowed by the California homestead exemption.
California property owners are also entitled to keep some of the equity in their homes pursuant to the state homestead laws. Those laws provide different exemption amounts for different living arrangements. A homeowner who lives with a relative who is not an owner of the home is entitled to a $75,000 exemption. A homeowner who has a disability, who is age 65 or older or who is age 55 with a low income is entitled to a $150,000 exemption. Homeowners who do not fall into either group described above are entitled to a $50,000 exemption.
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