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News Room

Outline of Proposed Changes to Section 522
[ FN: This outline reflects the proposal as tentatively adopted by the Commission on May 16, 1997.]

No Opt Out

A consumer debtor who has filed a petition for relief under the Bankruptcy Code should be allowed to exempt property as provided in section 522 of the Code. Subsection (b)(1) and (2) of section 522 should be repealed.

The Exemptions

Homestead Property

The debtor should be able to exempt the debtors aggregate interest as a fee owner, a joint tenant, or a tenant by the entirety, in real property or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence in the amount determined by the laws of the state in which the debtor resides, but not less than [ The following is struck out: $25,000/ $30,000/$40,000]$30,000 and not more than $100,000. Subsection (m) should be revised to reflect that all exemptions except for the homestead exemption shall apply separately to each debtor in a joint case.

Rights to Receive Benefits and Payments

All funds held directly or indirectly in a trust that is exempt from federal income tax pursuant to sections 408 or 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code should be exempt.

Rights to receive future payments, e.g., social security benefits, life insurance, should be exempt, and the debtor's right to receive an award under a crime victim's reparations law or payment for a personal bodily injury claim of the debtor or her dependent should be exempt.

All Other Property

With respect to property of the estate not otherwise exempt by the provisions listed above, a debtor should be permitted to retain up to [ The following is struck out: $25,000]$20,000 in value in any form. A debtor who claims no homestead exemption should be permitted to exempt an additional $15,000 of property in any form.

All professionally-prescribed medical devices and health aids necessary for the health and maintenance of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor should be exempt.

 

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