If you are filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida, you can use state exemptions to keep some or all of your property.
Florida has one of the most generous sets of bankruptcy exemptions, including unlimited exemptions for homesteads, annuities, and cash surrender values of life insurance policies. In order to use Florida’s exemptions, you must be a resident of Florida for at least 730 days prior to filing your bankruptcy petition.
In particular, Florida bankruptcy homestead exemptions are quite favorable to residents. Floridians can exempt an unlimited amount of value in their homes or property and can exempt personal property, including furniture, electronics, prescribed health aids, and even up to $1,000 in motor vehicle equity.
However, claiming Florida as your residence when filing for bankruptcy does not guarantee you all of Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions. Before you file for bankruptcy, you must contact an attorney to ascertain which state laws will determine your exempt assets. Some debtors do not qualify for exemptions under any state and must use federal bankruptcy exemptions, whereas others may be eligible for only partial exemptions.
Florida courts deem it acceptable to convert the nonexempt property into an exempt property before filing for bankruptcy. Yet, individuals must be careful in doing so, as there are limitations to what can be done. Generally, the safest thing to do with the nonexempt property prior to declaring bankruptcy is to turn that asset into a homestead.
If you are considering bankruptcy and believe you have assets that cannot be exempted if you file, you should speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney immediately before doing anything. Unlike the homestead exemption mentioned above, transferring nonexempt assets into another type of exempt property may not be sufficient protection.
The Law Firm of Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd provides bankruptcy services to clients along the Treasure Coast, with offices in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee. Our experienced attorneys can help you escape the pain of unmanageable debt, end creditor phone calls and secure a new financial future. Whether you are struggling with credit card debt or mortgage payments, filing for bankruptcy protection may be the right decision and doesn’t necessarily mean you lose all of your assets. Don’t try to fight this stressful situation on your own.
Contact us today for a free consultation in any of our offices in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach or Okeechobee. Call toll-free at 866-460-1990.