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BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTIONS IN FLORIDA

The past few years have been very difficult for many Americans.  Many are still considering Bankruptcy protection from their creditors

Many people file for bankruptcy within one year of the following life events:

DIVORCE

CATASTROPHIC ILLNESS

EXTENDED JOB OR PAY LOSS

UPSIDE DOWN ON HOME MORTGAGE OR FACING FORECLOSURE

Chapter 7 is the way to go for virtually every one as a qualified bankruptcy attorney we can get rid of medical debt, pesky collection agencies, etc.   Many times you will be able to save your home or car, as well as certain other possessions.  Many of these possessions are based on exemptions which are permitted by both Federal and State law.

Like all states, Florida has its own set of exemptions that you may use when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Exemptionsdetermine what property (such as a home, car, instrument, retirement account, etc.) you may keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you must pay to certain creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Some states allow debtors to choose between the state exemption system and a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions –but Florida is not one of them.  In Florida, you must use the state exemptions below.  In addition to this list, you may also use any applicable amounts in the federal non-bankruptcy exemptions.
Unless noted otherwise, if a couple is married and filing jointly in Florida, each spouse may claim the full amount of each exemption. This is informally called “doubling.”

Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions:

1.  Homestead.  222.01, .02, .03, .05; Fla. Const. 10-4 – Real or personal property, including mobile or modular home and condominium, to unlimited value. Property cannot exceed: 1/2 acre in a municipality, or 160 acres elsewhere. Spouse or child of deceased owner may claim exemption. May file homestead declaration. Also, tenancies by the entireties in real property are exempt as to debts of one spouse.
To learn more about Florida’s generous homestead exemption, check out Florida Bankruptcy & the Homestead Exemption.

2.  Personal Property.  222.22 – Prepaid hurricane savings accounts, prepaid medical savings account deposits, and prepaid college education trust deposits.
222.25 – Motor vehicle up to $1,000; prescribed health aids; federal income tax credits or refunds.

3.  Pre-need funeral contract deposits.  497.56(8) -

4.  Any personal property up to $1,000 total, or up to $4,000 if no homestead claimed.  This may be combined with the $1,000 personal exemption providing a total of a $5,000 exemption.  This might mean the difference in keeping a tax refund, a paid off car, a savings account, etc. Fla. Const. 10-4

5.  Wages.  222.11 – For head of family, 100% of earnings up to $750 a week; applies to either unpaid or paid wages, or wages deposited in a bank account for up to 6 months.

6.  Federal government employees’ pension payments 222.21 -  that are needed for support and were received up to 3 months prior to the bankruptcy.

7.  Pensions.   11 U.S.C. § 522 – Tax exempt retirement accounts (including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined benefit plans).

8.  11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C)(n) – IRAS and Roth IRAs to $1,171,650.

Also note that if the Debtor is NOT claiming the homestead exemption, current case law allows the Debtor to increase the personal exemption from $1,000.00 to $5,0000.00, inclusive of the vehicle exemption. That can make all the difference between a Debtor keeping their paid-off vehicle and having to give it in to the Creditors.

CALL (561) 242-1991

More Information
Alexander "Alex" Kranz, Esq.

 

CONTACT ATTORNEY KRANZ
561 242-1999

 

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