Showalter v. Hopper (In re Showalter)
- *not for publication
- The Ninth Circuit affirmed the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel's ruling that the Debtor's exemption claim under California's homestead exemption laws does not apply to the Debtor when (1) the Debtor did not reside in the property for purposes of a homestead exemption; and (2) the California exemption law asserted only applies to voluntary sales and not forced sales such as the filing of the bankruptcy petition. Alternatively, the Ninth Circuit upheld the BAP's ruling that Florida exemption laws do not apply notwithstanding that the subject property is located in Florida because the Debtor was a resident of California for purposes of Sec. 522.
- Procedural context:
- Appeal from the 9th Circuit BAP. Judges Dunn, Jury, and Markell, Bankruptcy Judges, Presiding.
- Debtor Michel Showalter asserted a homestead exemption claim using Cal. Civ. Proc. Code Sec. 704.720 to his property located in Florida. The exemption claim was denied on two grounds: (i) Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 704.920 only applies in "voluntary sales" and not "forced sales" which was created by this bankrutpcy filing; and (ii) Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 704.720 did not apply because the Debtor did not reside in the homestead property when he filed for bankruptcy. The courts also rejected Debtor's claim for exemption under Florida law finding that Debtor was a resident of California at the time the petition was filed.
- Before: SCHROEDER and IKUTA, Circuit Judges, and and SEABRIGHT, District Court Judge for the District of Hawaii (sitting by designation).
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