Memorandum of Decision Re: Homestead

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Decisions
IN THE UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
In re BOB and PATRICIA GRIFFIN,                                               No. 95-13222      Debtors. ___________________________/
Memorandum of Decision
     About three months before they filed their Chapter 7 petition, debtors Bob and Patricia Griffin moved from Lakeport, California, to Reno, Nevada, in order to find work. They view this move as temporary; much of their personal possessions are still in Lakeport, and they return there three or four times a month. They have not rented the property, and are looking for closer employment so that they can resume full-time residency there. The trustee's objection to their claim of exemption is now before the court.      Generally speaking, physical occupancy is required for a valid homestead exemption. In re Anderson, 824 F.2d 754 (9th Cir.1987). However, a temporary absence, with the intent to return, will not defeat an otherwise valid homestead declaration. In re Pham, 177 B.R. 914, 919 (Bkrtcy.C.D.Cal.1994).      The Griffins have presented concrete evidence of their intent to return to their Lakeport home. They have left much of their belongings there, they have not rented it, they return frequently, and they are looking for work close enough so that they can return permanently. California law does not require debtors to forfeit their homes if they are forced to take a temporary job in a different location in order to survive.      For the foregoing reasons, the trustee's objection will be overruled. Counsel for the Griffins shall submit an appropriate form of order.
Dated: April 29, 1996                                               _______________________                                                                                      Alan Jaroslovsky                                                                                       U.S. Bankruptcy