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  1. My understanding is that System1 set of exemptions is really good in protecting the home equity (it protects up to $75,000), but it doesn't do that good of a job of protecting my car and personal property (i.e. no wildcard exemption, no $650 dollars per each item allowed, etc.). System 2 seems like it will let me protect pretty much all of my personal property (especially with that new generous $4,800 vehicle exemption), but the homestead exemption for the system 2 is only around 23K if I am not mistaken, which may be a risky deal, considering how much the house prices have been going up in Calif. (my house goes up by $7,500 every month). If I were to file for Chap 7 around the end of August, what month's house price would the Trustee take into consideration? Would he look at the house price when I filed, or when he reviewed the case some x months later? My understanding is that the whole Chap 7 process lasts 4-5 months in Calif. (correct me if I am wrong), so when in this period does the trustee decide whether to sell the house or not? Right now, I have around $2,000 of equity in the house, but am a little worried about this housing bubble pushing my house value beyond what I am able to exempt in a very short time. We here in Calif. have a lot of large financial companies and hedge funds buying houses in bulk and converting them into rentals. This has raised the house prices tremendously. But then, if I go with System 1, can I pretty much kiss my music recording equipment bye-bye? I am a hobbyist musician and have around $840 in musical instruments, mixers, microphones, etc. It's not much, but it'd be hard to lose. System 2 seems like it would let me keep all that, but System 1 has some "average household" standards that are basically at the Bankruptcy Court's discretion. Since the average household doesn't have mixers and mics and keyboards, do I stand to lose all that stuff? Or how about having 2 computers and a laptop? Do I get to keep just 1 computer under System 1 exemptions? Please advise.
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