ADVOCACY

WORKING FOR CHANGE

One of the most effective ways to achieve justice for consumers is to change harmful laws and policies. We work with and lobby legislators at the local, state, and national levels to effect change.

Our Advocacy Work

The Homstead Exemption

Governor Inslee signed SB 5408 into law on May 12, 2021, raising the homestead exemption to the county median sale price.

The homestead exemption keeps people in their homes during tough times. When filing for bankruptcy, a debtor can protect the equity in their primary residence up to a certain limit. If the value of the home is less than the limit, the bankruptcy trustee cannot seize and sell the home. The exemption also protects small businesses struggling to stay afloat in the face of COVID-19 shutdowns.

At $125,000—a figure last updated in 2007—Washington's homestead exemption was one of the nation's lowest. The passage of SB 5408 helps restore homestead fairness to Washington by:

  • Raising the homestead exemption from $125,000 to the median value per county of a single-family home.
  • Ensuring bankruptcy filers won't lose their homestead exemption due to property value increases after the date of filing.

The Personal Property Exemption

SB 5947, a bill to increase the personal property exemption, has been brought before the Washington State legislature.

When filing for bankruptcy, a debtor can protect the equity in their personal property up to a certain limit. If the value of the property is less than the limit, the bankruptcy trustee cannot seize and sell the home. Currently, the National Consumer Law Center, gives our state a "C" grade for protecting the personal property of working families.

If passed, SB 5947 would increase the exemption. This would:

  • Help working families keep their cars by raising the exemption to the average value of a vehicle
  • Help people keep enough money in their bank account to cover rent and necessities; Helps small business owners keep the tools they need to run their business
  • Help injured people protect their compensation for their pain and suffering

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Questions about our advocacy work?

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