What is a wildcard exemption in bankruptcy? 14 Answers as of March 22, 2011

What is a wildcard exemption in bankruptcy? Do they have it in every state? Thanks.

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Benson Law Firm
Benson Law Firm | David Benson
A wildcard exemption protects a limited amount of value for property that you, the debtor, designate. In Ohio, that amount is limited to a little over $1,000. If you are in a state that permits the use of federal exemptions, that amount can exceed $11,000.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/22/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
It is not available in every state. It is an amount you use to add to other exemptions to increase the amount you can exempt. It is available in California which is where I am licensed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/15/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Not every state has a "wildcard" exemption, but for those that do, it typically works to cover "exposed equity" in property that is otherwise covered to some extent by a limited exemption. For example, if your state has a homestead exemption of $30,000 and your equity in your home is $40,000, you have $10,000 of exposed equity which could subject the house to liquidation and sale in a Chapter 7. A wildcard, in many states, allows you to use a particular value to cover, in part or in whole, that $10,000 exposed. The application of wildcard exemptions varies greatly from state to state, so be careful to make sure you are applying it as proscribed by law.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 3/14/2011
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
a wildcards exemption generally allows the debtor t keep any type of personal property with a value within the limit of the exemption. not all states have them.
Answer Applies to: South Dakota
Replied: 3/11/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
If your state allows you to choose either the state or federal exemptions, you can use a wild card exemption under the federal law on non-exempt property, or partially for exempt property. You get to keep this amount of non-exempt property if you use the wild card exemption.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/11/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    In California, the wildcard exemption is a catch all exemption that allows the filer to claim up to $23,250. It can be used to exempt otherwise non-exempt property or to make up the difference between property that is partially exempt from other exemptions and the total equity in the property. I have no idea if it is available in every state. If you are looking for an attorney to assist you, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    A wildcard exemption is one that can be used to exempt any type of property, whether cash, jewels, real property, etc. Most states have one, but the amounts differ among states. For more specific information, you should consult my office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    The wildcard exemption protects up to a certain amount of any asset. Up to 23k in CA.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    Exemptions can be either Federal or State, depending on your court's rules. Here in California our exemptions are state laws. The wildcard exemption is a generic exemption that can be used to protect an asset that would otherwise be taken by the trustee in your bankruptcy case. The amount of this exemption can vary as well. It's best to work with an attorney due to the complexities of these rules, so you really can lose the debt and keep your stuff.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    It is an exemption that can be used up to the allowed amount on ANY assets. No, not every state has one. Exemption laws are based on the state where you resided for the 2 years prior to filing your bankruptcy case or, if you lived in more than 1 state during that period, in the state where you resided for the greater part of the 180 days prior to that 2 year period.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    The "wildcard" exemption in California is $23,250 currently and you can use that amount to exempt (protect) any property, including cash, bank accounts and other property or assets, that would not be protected or exempt under other more specific exemptions. So if your car is worth too much then you can exempt part of the equity under the vehicle exemption and the excess equity with the wildcard. I do not know if all the states have it but many states do have an amount that you can use to exempt property not exempt under other more specific laws of the state. Not everyone in California gets the wildcard exemption because there is a different set of exemptions for people who have significant equity in their homes. This is one of the reasons you need to have a lawyer for a bankruptcy case since protecting what you have from the trustee is obviously extremely important in your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    The wildcard exemption is an allowance for items like cash, bank accounts and other assets that a person may have that does not fit into a different exemption. Though the amount may vary, most states have a windcard exemption.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    The wildcard exemption allows you to protect any asset that you have. It lets you to spread the value over multiple assets. There is a limit to the wildcard exemption. So, you need to make sure that your assets do not exceed the amount of your exemption. The limit of the wildcard exemption is $23,250.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
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