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Bills.com Team
UpdatedNov 25, 2022
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    7 min read
Key Takeaways:
  • Here are seven tables that condense important consumer-related laws for California residents on one handy page.
  • Learn more about California statutes of limitations for debt.

California Statute of Limitations, Collection Law, Payday Loans & Bankruptcy Limits

Each state legislature wrote its own set of laws protecting state residents. This page contains seven tables that condense important consumer-related laws for California residents. Because seeing all seven tables is a bit overwhelming, we hid them until you click on links to reveal them. Click on the appropriate link to see the information you wish to see. To learn more, we include links to state and Bills.com resources you can trust.

California Collection Law

Account levy, liens against property, and wage garnishment are allowed in California. Learn the collections rules for California debts, and related laws. View or hide California Collection Laws tables

Collection LawGarnishmentAccount LevyExemptions (debt)Homestead lawHomestead exemptionDoctrine of NecessariesProbate rule
California ruleUp to 25% of earningsAllowedVehicle: $2,300 Household: "Ordinary & reasonable" Home improvement materials: $2,425 Jewelry & art: $6,075 Health aids: "reasonably necessary" Tools of trade: $6,075 Commercial motor vehicle: $4,850Principal dwelling including condo, mobilehome, or boat$75,000 if alone $100,000 with family member $175,000 if debtor or family member is • age 65 • disabled • age 55 & low incomeYesEstates > $150,000 must be probated
California statuteCCP Section 703.010-703.150, 704.070, 706.010-706.011, 706.020-706.034CCP Section 704.010-704.210CCP Section 703.010-703.150 and 704.010-704.210CCP Section 704.910-704.995CCP Section 704.710-704.850Family Code Section 914Calif. Probate Code
Bills.com resourceCalifornia Collection Laws

California Collection Law

California Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations provides an affirmative defense should a creditor file a lawsuit against debtor for a consumer debt. View or hide California Statute of Limitations Laws table

Statute of LimitationCredit CardWritten contractSpoken contractJudgment
California rule2 or 44210
California statuteCCP Section 335-349.4
Bills.com resourceCalifornia Statute of Limitations

California Statute of Limitations

California Bankruptcy Rules

Learn the bankruptcy exemption amounts for California residents. View or hide California Bankruptcy Laws table

BankruptcyMeans Test Standards
California ruleFood, Clothing & Other Items_1_$534
Health care_1_65 $144
Housing non-mortgage_2_$358-$479
Housing rent or mortgage$805-$2,458
Transport private_2_$236-306
Transport public_3_$182
Vehicle ownership costs$496
StatuteCensus Bureau, IRS Data and Administrative Expenses Multipliers 1. National standard one person 2. California standard varies by county 3. Regional standard
Bills.com resourceBankruptcy Information

California Bankruptcy

Plan 1 CCP 703 Exemptions

Plan 1 ExemptionsIndividualJointCalif. Code of Civil Procedure
Alimony, Support, Or Separate Maint.Unlimited703.140(b)(10)(D)
Any Property Selected By Debtor$1,175$1,175703.140(b)(5), 703.150
Crime Victims Reparation BenefitsUnlimited703.140(b)(11)(A)
Disability, Illness, Or Unempl. BenefitsUnlimited703.140(b)(10)(C)
Health AidsUnlimited703.140(b)(9)
Homestead, Cemetery Plot$22,075$22,075703.140(b)(1), 703.150
Household Furn. ($525 max. value for any particular item)Unlimited703.140(b)(3), 703.150
Jewelry$1,425$1,425703.140(b)(4), 703.150
Life Ins. - Unmatured, Accrued Div Interest or Loan Value$11,800$11,800703.140(b)(8), 703.150
Life Ins. Contracts - UnmaturedUnlimited703.140(b)(7)
Motor Vehicle$3,525$3,525703.140(b)(2), 703.150
Pmts. - Life Ins. ContractUnlimited703.140(b)(11)(C)
Pmts. - Loss Of Future EarningsUnlimited703.140(b)(11)(E)
Pmts. - Personal Bodily Injury$22,07522,075703.140(b)(11)(D)
Pmts. - Stock, Bonus, Pension Or Annuity PlansUnlimited703.140(b)(10)(E)
Pmts. - Wrongful DeathUnlimited703.140(b)(11)(B)
Public AssistanceUnlimited703.140(b)(10)(A)
Tools Of Trade - Books, Equip. Etc.$2,200$2,200703.140(b)(6), 703.150
Veteran's BenefitsUnlimited703.140(b)(10)(B)

Plan 1 CCP 703 Exemptions

Plan 2 CCP 704 Exemptions

Plan 2 ExemptionsIndividualJointCalifornia Code
Alameda/Contra Costa County Trans. Dist. Empl.'s Retir. Ben.UnlimitedUtil. Code § 25337
Bond Posted By EmployeeUnlimitedLabor Code §404
Burial PlotsUnlimited704.200
Commercial Motor Vehicle$4,850$9,700704.060(d), 703.150
Earnings PaidUnlimited704.070, 703.150
Escrow And Trust FundsUnlimitedFin. Code § 17410
Escrow Funds; Trust FundsUnlimitedFin. Code § 50202
Exemption And Use Of Proceeds From Sales Of Unused LandsUnlimitedHealth & Safe. Code § 7925
Health AidsUnlimited704.050
Homestead - $100,000 (debtor member of family unit)$100,000$100,000704.730(a)(2)
Homestead - $75,000$75,000$75,000704.730(a)(1)
Homestead (debtor over 65)$175,000$175,000704.730(a)(3)
Household FurnishingsUnlimited704.020
Insur. Benefits - Health, DisabilityUnlimited704.130
Insurance - Fidelity BondsUnlimitedLabor 404
Jewelry, Heirlooms & Works of Art$7,175$7,175704.040, 703.150
License To Engage In BusinessUnlimited695.060
Life Insurance - Proceeds Of MaturedUnlimited704.100(c)
Life Insurance - Unmatured$11,475$11,475704.100(b), 703.150
Life Insurance Policies - UnmaturedUnlimited704.100(a)
Motor Vehicle - Equity & Insurance$2,725$2,725704.010, 703.150
Municipal Utility District Officers/EmployeesUnlimitedUtil. Code § 12337
Partnership Interest (To The Extent Allowed By Ex. Laws)UnlimitedCorp. Code §16504
Partnership PropertyUnlimitedCorp. Code § 16504
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death ClaimsUnlimited704.140(a), 704.150(a)
Proceeds From Pers. Injury Or DeathUnlimited704.140(d), 704.150(c)
Property Not Subject To Money JudgmentUnlimited704.210; 695.030
Public Benefits Deposit AccountUnlimited704.080
Public Employees' Retirement BenefitsUnlimitedGov't Code §21255
Public Entity Retirement, Death, Disability BenefitsUnlimited704.110(b), Gov. Code § 21201
Relocation/Dwelling Displacement PaymentUnlimited704.180
Residential Building Materials$2,700$2,700704.030, 703.150
Retirement Benefits - County EmployeesUnlimitedGov. Code § 31452
Retirement Benefits - County FirefighterUnlimitedGov. Code § 32210
Retirement Benefits - County Peace OfficerUnlimitedGov. Code § 31913
Retirement Benefits - PrivateUnlimited704.115(a)(1), (2)
Retirement Benefits - Self EmployedUnlimited704.115(a)(3)
Retirement Benefits Received - PublicUnlimited704.110(d)
San Francisco BART DistrictUnlimitedCal. Pub. Util. Code § 28896
San Joaquin Regional Trans. DistrictUnlimitedCal. Pub. Util. Code § 50146
Santa Barbara Metro. Trans. DistrictUnlimitedCal. Pub. Util. Code § 95836
Santa Cruz Metro. Trans. DistrictUnlimitedCal. Pub. Util. Code § 98196
Students Financial AidUnlimited704.190
Tools Of Trade - Books, Equipment etc.$7,175$14,350704.060, 703.150
Trust Fund Accounts - Prisoners$1,425$1,425704.090
Unemployment Compensation BenefitsUnlimited704.120
Union Benefits (Labor Dispute)Unlimited704.120(5)
Vacation Credits - Public EmployeesUnlimited704.113
Welfare & Fraternal Society BenefitsUnlimited704.170
Workmen's Compensation BenefitsUnlimited704.160

Plan 2 CCP 704 Exemptions

California Mortgage

California offers a limited anti-deficiency law for California residents who fall into foreclosure. Also, learn the maximum amount of an FHA loan in California. View or hide California Mortgage Laws table

MortgageFHA & Fannie/Freddie Loan LimitsLawyer needed for home purchaseAnti-deficiency ruleForeclosure typeForeclosure minimum timeline
California rule$417,000 to $625,500NoYes, for purchase money loansBoth, non-judicial preferred200 days
California statuteFHA Mortgage LimitsCalif. Civil Code § 2920-2944.7 & CCP § 580bCalif. Civil Code 2924
Bills.com resourcesMortgage Home Page California Mortgage & Refinancing California Mortgage Foreclosure ProcessIs My Home Loan Recourse or Non-Recourse Loan in California?California Eviction

California Mortgage

California Payday Loans

California allows a consumer to borrow up one $300 payday loan at a time. View or hide California Payday Laws table

Payday LoansAllowed by LawMaximum LoanMaximum FeeMaximum Loan NumberInternet Payday Loans?State Loan Authority
California ruleYes$30015% of loan amount. $15 NSF collection feeOneYes, but must be Calif licensed
California statuteCalif. Financial Code § 23000 to 23106Financial Services Licensee Address Listing
Bills.com resourceCalifornia Payday Loan

California Payday Loans

California Consumer Protection

What is the maximum interest rate a consumer can be charged in California? What is California' Lemon Law? Where can a California resident find no-cost legal services? View or hide California Consumer Laws table

Consumer ProtectionConsumer Protection AuthorityDebt settlement allowedCredit counseling fee restrictionsUsury rateUtility RegulatorLabor Complaints officeUnemploymentLemon Law, Used & NewLegal Aid ContactsCredit Report Freeze Laws
California ruleCalif. Dept. of Consumer AffairsYes$50 enrollment. 8% monthly & $35 max10% consumer loanCalifornia Public Utilities CommissionDepartment of Industrial RelationsEmployment Development Dept.BothLawHelpCalifornia.orgID theft victims: free >age 65: $5 per credit bureau
California statuteCalifornia Constitution Article 15: UsurySong-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act at Civil Code § 1790California Office of Privacy and Civil Code § 1785.11.2-1785.11.6 and 1785.15

California Consumer Protection

California Facts

Learn the California population, sales tax rate, average income, and more. View or hide California Facts table

Consumer FactsPopulationEmployment StatisticsCalifornia Average IncomeState income tax?State income tax rateProperty tax rate (average)Sales tax rateState Student Loan 529 plan
California rule37,253,95610.9%$29,020Yes9.3% maximum rate for individuals1.157%7.25%- 8.75%ScholarShare College Savings Plan
California statuteUS Census BureauCalif. EDD Report 400 CUS Census Bureau2011 California Tax Rates and ExemptionsCalif. State Board of Equalization Annual Report: Table 14: General Property Tax Levies As Compiled For Computation Of The Average Tax RateCalif. State Board Of Equalization California City and County Sales and Use Tax Rates

California Facts

Dealing with debt

Debt is used to buy a home, pay for bills, buy a car, or pay for a college education. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q2 2022 was $16.15 trillion. Auto loan debt was $1.50 trillion and credit card was $0.89 trillion.

A significant percentage of people in the US are struggling with monthly payments and about 26% of households in the United States have debt in collections. According to data gathered by Urban.org from a sample of credit reports, the median debt in collections is $1,739. Credit card debt is prevalent and 3% have delinquent or derogatory card debt. The median debt in collections is $422.

The amount of debt and debt in collections vary by state. For example, in Maryland, 24% have any kind of debt in collections and the median debt in collections is $1562. Medical debt is common and 10% have that in collections. The median medical debt in collections is $508.

Avoiding collections isn’t always possible. A sudden loss of employment, death in the family, or sickness can lead to financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with debt including an aggressive payment plan, debt consolidation loan, or a negotiated settlement.

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