The Fifth Circuit's recent decision in Camp v. Ingalls
allowed an itinerant debtor to claim federal exemptions that would not have
been available to him had he remained in Florida. That was a small victory for
the debtor. However, a decision released just a few days later reveals the
darker side of the 730 day rule for claiming exemptions. In the case of In
re Fernandez, No. 09-32896 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. 1/26/11), which can be found here,
a debtor was deprived of the generous homestead exemption allowed by both Texas
and Nevada law where he had gone back and forth between these states.
Alfred Fernandez owned a home in El Paso, Texas. When he
was laid off from his job in El Paso, he relocated to Nevada for seven years.
All the while, he continued to make the payments on his home in El Paso and
planned to return. About a year prior to bankruptcy, he did return. When he
filed for bankruptcy, he claimed his home as exempt under Texas law and the
trustee objected. Then he amended his exemptions to claim the home as exempt
under Nevada law and the trustee objected.
Because he had not lived in Texas for 730 days before
bankruptcy, the Texas exemptions were not available to him. However, the
trustee contended that Nevada law could not be used to exempt property located
in Texas. The Bankruptcy Court agreed.
Read the entire article at A Texas
Bankruptcy Lawyer's Blog
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