This article reviews the conflict as it has taken form in the courts of appeal of several circuits. The first section of the article briefly discusses the legislative history of section 522, and the purpose of Congress in providing the debtor with both exemptions and lien avoidance powers under the Code. It next reviews the decisions of courts of appeal that have interpreted the extent of the "opt~out" powers granted to the states under section 522(b). The third and final section analyzes the two views on the question, and concludes that the better interpretation is that the states are not permitted to opt out of the lien avoidance provision of section 522(f) and are only permitted to opt out of the federal exemptions under section 522(d).
Veryl Victoria Miles, A Debtor’s Right to Avoid Liens Against Exempt Property Under Section 522 of the Bankruptcy Code: Meaningless or Meaningful?, 65 AM. BANKR. L.J. 117 (1991).