QUESTION

How do I protect my home and cash in a bankruptcy?

Asked on Mar 09th, 2011 on Bankruptcy - California
More details to this question:
I have a paid off motor home that is my house and $30,000 in cash. I am filing Chapter 7. What do I need to do to protect my home and cash? It is all I have in savings and I am retired. Also I sold my car over a year ago, can the trustee call back the sale of the car?
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2 ANSWERS
Answered on Mar 17th, 2011 at 1:04 PM
If your motor home can be considered your homestead and the value falls below the applicable exemption amount, that home should be protected from the reach of your creditors. If the cash is held in a qualified retirement account as defined by ERISA, that amount may be outside the bankruptcy estate and thus not distributable by the Chapter 7 trustee. If the savings account is not tax-exempt, those funds are likely to be an attractive target for the trustee.

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Answered on Mar 13th, 2011 at 5:06 PM
I am going to assume that you are a California resident. To protect your motor home, I need to know what it is worth and who lives there with you. The current exemption for a person who lives without any other family member is $75,000.00. If your motor home is worth less than $75,000.00, it is protected. If it is worth more than $75,000.00, we need to see if you qualify for I higher homestead exemption either due to family size, your age, any disability, or your income. The $30,000.00 in cash is at risk. There is no exemption to protect most of this money if you need the large homestead exemption to protect your motor home. You may want to spend some of this money on things that you will need anyway, such as food, utilities, gas, rent, taxes etc. The sale of the car is not a problem so long as you sold the car for fair market value. If you gave it to a friend or family member for less than fair market value, the Trustee has the right to sue to set aside the transfer. Here is my best advice: Call me for a free consultation. My telephone number is 310 271-6223. I will go over all the facts and circumstances of your matter and give you expert legal advice tailored to the facts of your situation.

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