Code Section Group

Code of Civil Procedure - CCP

PART 2. OF CIVIL ACTIONS [307 - 1062.20]

  ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 9. ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS [680.010 - 724.260]

  ( Title 9 repealed and added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. )

DIVISION 2. ENFORCEMENT OF MONEY JUDGMENTS [695.010 - 709.030]

  ( Division 2 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. )

CHAPTER 4. Exemptions [703.010 - 704.995]

  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [703.010 - 703.150]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. )

703.010.
  

Except as otherwise provided by statute:

(a) The exemptions provided by this chapter or by any other statute apply to all procedures for enforcement of a money judgment.

(b) The exemptions provided by this chapter or by any other statute do not apply if the judgment to be enforced is for the foreclosure of a mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien or encumbrance on the property other than a lien created pursuant to this division or pursuant to Title 6.5 (commencing with Section 481.010) (attachment).

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 3 of Ch. 1364.)

703.020.
  

(a) The exemptions provided by this chapter apply only to property of a natural person.

(b) The exemptions provided in this chapter may be claimed by any of the following persons:

(1) In all cases, by the judgment debtor or a person acting on behalf of the judgment debtor.

(2) In the case of community property, by the spouse of the judgment debtor, whether or not the spouse is also a judgment debtor under the judgment.

(3) In the case of community property, by the domestic partner of the judgment debtor, as defined in Section 297 of the Family Code, whether or not the domestic partner is also a judgment debtor under the judgment.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 415, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2015.)

703.030.
  

(a) An exemption for property that is described in this chapter or in any other statute as exempt may be claimed within the time and in the manner prescribed in the applicable enforcement procedure. If the exemption is not so claimed, the exemption is waived and the property is subject to enforcement of a money judgment.

(b)  Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, property that is described in this chapter or in any other statute as exempt without making a claim is not subject to any procedure for enforcement of a money judgment.

(c) Nothing in this section limits the authority of the court pursuant to Section 473 to relieve a person upon such terms as may be just from failure to claim an exemption within the time and in the manner prescribed in the applicable enforcement procedure.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 3 of Ch. 1364.)

703.040.
  

A purported contractual or other prior waiver of the exemptions provided by this chapter or by any other statute, other than a waiver by failure to claim an exemption required to be claimed or otherwise made at the time enforcement is sought, is against public policy and void.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 3 of Ch. 1364.)

703.050.
  

(a) The determination whether property is exempt or the amount of an exemption shall be made by application of the exemption statutes in effect (1) at the time the judgment creditor’s lien on the property was created or (2) if the judgment creditor’s lien on the property is the latest in a series of overlapping liens created when an earlier lien on the property in favor of the judgment creditor was in effect, at the time the earliest lien in the series of overlapping liens was created.

(b) This section applies to all judgments, whether based upon tort, contract, or other legal theory or cause of action that arose before or after the operative date of this section, and whether the judgment was entered before or after the operative date of this section.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), in the case of a levy of execution, the procedures to be followed in levying upon, selling, or releasing property, claiming, processing, opposing, and determining exemptions, and paying exemption proceeds, shall be governed by the law in effect at the time the levy of execution is made on the property.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 3 of Ch. 1364.)

703.060.
  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that generally persons who enter into contracts do not do so in reliance on an assumption that the exemptions in effect at the time of the contract will govern enforcement of any judgment based on the contract, that liens imposed on property are imposed not as a matter of right but as a matter of privilege granted by statute for purposes of priority, that no vested rights with respect to exemptions are created by the making of a contract or imposition of a lien, that application of exemptions and exemption procedures in effect at the time of enforcement of a judgment is essential to the proper balance between the rights of judgment debtors and judgment creditors and has a minimal effect on the economic stability essential for the maintenance of private and public faith in commercial matters, and that it is the policy of the state to treat all judgment debtors equally with respect to exemptions and exemption procedures in effect at the time of enforcement of a money judgment. To this end, the Legislature reserves the right to repeal, alter, or add to the exemptions and the procedures therefor at any time and intends, unless otherwise provided by statute, that any repeals, alterations, or additions apply upon their operative date to enforcement of all money judgments, whether based upon tort, contract, or other legal theory or cause of action that arose before or after the operative date of the repeals, alterations, or additions, whether the judgment was entered before or after the operative date of the repeals, alterations, or additions.

(b) All contracts shall be deemed to have been made and all liens on property shall be deemed to have been created in recognition of the power of the state to repeal, alter, and add to statutes providing for liens and exemptions from the enforcement of money judgments.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 3 of Ch. 1364.)

703.070.
  

Except as otherwise provided by statute:

(a) The exemptions provided by this chapter or by any other statute apply to a judgment for child, family, or spousal support.

(b) If property is exempt without making a claim, the property is not subject to being applied to the satisfaction of a judgment for child, family, or spousal support.

(c) Except as provided in subdivision (b), if property sought to be applied to the satisfaction of a judgment for child, family, or spousal support is shown to be exempt under subdivision (a) in appropriate proceedings, the court shall, upon noticed motion of the judgment creditor, determine the extent to which the exempt property nevertheless shall be applied to the satisfaction of the judgment. In making this determination, the court shall take into account the needs of the judgment creditor, the needs of the judgment debtor and all the persons the judgment debtor is required to support, and all other relevant circumstances. The court shall effectuate its determination by an order specifying the extent to which the otherwise exempt property is to be applied to the satisfaction of the judgment.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 163, Sec. 37. Effective January 1, 1993. Operative January 1, 1994, by Sec. 161 of Ch. 163.)

703.080.
  

(a) Subject to any limitation provided in the particular exemption, a fund that is exempt remains exempt to the extent that it can be traced into deposit accounts or in the form of cash or its equivalent.

(b) The exemption claimant has the burden of tracing an exempt fund.

(c) The tracing of exempt funds in a deposit account shall be by application of the lowest intermediate balance principle unless the exemption claimant or the judgment creditor shows that some other method of tracing would better serve the interests of justice and equity under the circumstances of the case.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 3 of Ch. 1364.)

703.090.
  

If a judgment creditor has failed to oppose a claim of exemption within the time allowed by Section 703.550 or if property has been determined by a court to be exempt, and the judgment creditor thereafter levies upon or otherwise seeks to apply the property toward the satisfaction of the same money judgment, the judgment creditor is not entitled to recover the subsequent costs of collection unless the property is applied to satisfaction of the judgment.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 3 of Ch. 1364.)

703.100.
  

(a) Subject to subdivision (b), the determination whether property is exempt shall be made under the circumstances existing at the earliest of the following times:

(1) The time of levy on the property.

(2) The time of the commencement of court proceedings for the application of the property to the satisfaction of the money judgment.

(3) The time a lien is created under Title 6.5 (commencing with Section 481.010) (attachment) or under this title.

(b) The court, in its discretion, may take into consideration any of the following changes that have occurred between the time of levy or commencement of enforcement proceedings or creation of the lien and the time of the hearing:

(1) A change in the use of the property if the exemption is based upon the use of property and if the property was used for the exempt purpose at the time of the levy or the commencement of enforcement proceedings or the creation of the lien but is used for a nonexempt purpose at the time of the hearing.

(2) A change in the value of the property if the exemption is based upon the value of property.

(3) A change in the financial circumstances of the judgment debtor and spouse and dependents of the judgment debtor if the exemption is based upon their needs.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1364, Sec. 2. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 3 of Ch. 1364.)

703.110.
  

If the judgment debtor is married:

(a) The exemptions provided by this chapter or by any other statute apply to all property that is subject to enforcement of a money judgment, including the interest of the spouse of the judgment debtor in community property. The fact that one or both spouses are judgment debtors under the judgment or that property sought to be applied to the satisfaction of the judgment is separate or community does not increase or reduce the number or amount of the exemptions. Where the property exempt under a particular exemption is limited to a specified maximum dollar amount, unless the exemption provision specifically provides otherwise, the two spouses together are entitled to one exemption limited to the specified maximum dollar amount, whether one or both of the spouses are judgment debtors under the judgment and whether the property sought to be applied to the satisfaction of the judgment is separate or community.

(b) If an exemption is required by statute to be applied first to property not before the court and then to property before the court, the application of the exemption to property not before the court shall be made to the community property and separate property of both spouses, whether or not such property is subject to enforcement of the money judgment.

(c) If the same exemption is claimed by the judgment debtor and the spouse of the judgment debtor for different property, and the property claimed by one spouse, but not both, is exempt, the exemption shall be applied as the spouses agree. If the spouses are unable to agree, the exemption shall be applied as directed by the court in its discretion.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 155, Sec. 14.7. Effective June 30, 1983. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 32 of Ch. 155.)

703.115.
  

In determining an exemption based upon the needs of the judgment debtor and the spouse and dependents of the judgment debtor or an exemption based upon the needs of the judgment debtor and the family of the judgment debtor, the court shall take into account all property of the judgment debtor and, to the extent the judgment debtor has a spouse and dependents or family, all property of such spouse and dependents or family, including community property and separate property of the spouse, whether or not such property is subject to enforcement of the money judgment.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 155, Sec. 15. Effective June 30, 1983. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 32 of Ch. 155.)

703.130.
  

Pursuant to the authority of paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of Section 522 of Title 11 of the United States Code, the exemptions set forth in subsection (d) of Section 522 of Title 11 of the United States Code (Bankruptcy) are not authorized in this state.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 500, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2010.)

703.140.
  

(a) In a case under Title 11 of the United States Code, all of the exemptions provided by this chapter, including the homestead exemption, other than the provisions of subdivision (b) are applicable regardless of whether there is a money judgment against the debtor or whether a money judgment is being enforced by execution sale or any other procedure, but the exemptions provided by subdivision (b) may be elected in lieu of all other exemptions provided by this chapter, as follows:

(1) If spouses are joined in the petition, they jointly may elect to utilize the applicable exemption provisions of this chapter other than the provisions of subdivision (b), or to utilize the applicable exemptions set forth in subdivision (b), but not both.

(2) If the petition is filed individually, and not jointly, for a spouse, the exemptions provided by this chapter other than the provisions of subdivision (b) are applicable, except that, if both of the spouses effectively waive in writing the right to claim, during the period the case commenced by filing the petition is pending, the exemptions provided by the applicable exemption provisions of this chapter, other than subdivision (b), in any case commenced by filing a petition for either of them under Title 11 of the United States Code, then they may elect to instead utilize the applicable exemptions set forth in subdivision (b).

(3) If the petition is filed for an unmarried person, that person may elect to utilize the applicable exemption provisions of this chapter other than subdivision (b), or to utilize the applicable exemptions set forth in subdivision (b), but not both.

(b) The following exemptions may be elected as provided in subdivision (a):

(1) The debtor’s aggregate interest, not to exceed twenty-four thousand sixty dollars ($24,060) in value, in real property or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, in a cooperative that owns property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence.

(2) The debtor’s interest, not to exceed four thousand eight hundred dollars ($4,800) in value, in one or more motor vehicles.

(3) The debtor’s interest, not to exceed six hundred dollars ($600) in value in any particular item, in household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops, or musical instruments, that are held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.

(4) The debtor’s aggregate interest, not to exceed one thousand four hundred twenty-five dollars ($1,425) in value, in jewelry held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.

(5) The debtor’s aggregate interest, not to exceed in value one thousand two hundred eighty dollars ($1,280) plus any unused amount of the exemption provided under paragraph (1), in any property.

(6) The debtor’s aggregate interest, not to exceed seven thousand one hundred seventy-five dollars ($7,175) in value, in any implements, professional books, or tools of the trade of the debtor or the trade of a dependent of the debtor.

(7) Any unmatured life insurance contract owned by the debtor, other than a credit life insurance contract.

(8) The debtor’s aggregate interest, not to exceed in value twelve thousand eight hundred sixty dollars ($12,860), in any accrued dividend or interest under, or loan value of, any unmatured life insurance contract owned by the debtor under which the insured is the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent.

(9) Professionally prescribed health aids for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.

(10) The debtor’s right to receive any of the following:

(A) A social security benefit, unemployment compensation, or a local public assistance benefit.

(B) A veterans’ benefit.

(C) A disability, illness, or unemployment benefit.

(D) Alimony, support, or separate maintenance, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor.

(E) A payment under a stock bonus, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, or similar plan or contract on account of illness, disability, death, age, or length of service, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor, unless all of the following apply:

(i) That plan or contract was established by or under the auspices of an insider that employed the debtor at the time the debtor’s rights under the plan or contract arose.

(ii) The payment is on account of age or length of service.

(iii) That plan or contract does not qualify under Section 401(a), 403(a), 403(b), 408, or 408A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(11) The debtor’s right to receive, or property that is traceable to, any of the following:

(A) An award under a crime victim’s reparation law.

(B) A payment on account of the wrongful death of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor.

(C) A payment under a life insurance contract that insured the life of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent on the date of that individual’s death, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor.

(D) A payment, not to exceed twenty-four thousand sixty dollars ($24,060), on account of personal bodily injury of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent.

(E) A payment in compensation of loss of future earnings of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is or was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 50, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2017.)

703.150.
  

(a) On April 1, 2004, and at each three-year interval ending on April 1 thereafter, the dollar amounts of exemptions provided in subdivision (b) of Section 703.140 in effect immediately before that date shall be adjusted as provided in subdivision (d).

(b) On April 1, 2007, and at each three-year interval ending on April 1 thereafter, the dollar amounts of exemptions provided in Article 3 (commencing with Section 704.010) in effect immediately before that date shall be adjusted as provided in subdivision (d).

(c) On April 1, 2013, and at each three-year interval ending on April 1 thereafter, the Judicial Council shall submit to the Legislature the amount by which the dollar amounts of exemptions provided in subdivision (a) of Section 704.730 in effect immediately before that date may be increased as provided in subdivision (d). Those increases shall not take effect unless they are approved by the Legislature.

(d) The Judicial Council shall determine the amount of the adjustment based on the change in the annual California Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, published by the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Statistics, for the most recent three-year period ending on December 31 preceding the adjustment, with each adjusted amount rounded to the nearest twenty-five dollars ($25).

(e) Beginning April 1, 2004, the Judicial Council shall publish a list of the current dollar amounts of exemptions provided in subdivision (b) of Section 703.140 and in Article 3 (commencing with Section 704.010), together with the date of the next scheduled adjustment. In any year that the Legislature votes to increase the exemptions provided in subdivision (a) of Section 704.730, the Judicial Council shall publish a list of current dollar amounts of exemptions.

(f) Adjustments made under subdivision (a) do not apply with respect to cases commenced before the date of the adjustment, subject to any contrary rule applicable under the federal Bankruptcy Code. The applicability of adjustments made under subdivisions (b) and (c) is governed by Section 703.050.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 678, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2013.)

CCPCode of Civil Procedure - CCP1.