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If I File for Bankruptcy in Florida, Do I Lose All of My Assets?

Posted on in Bankruptcy

Surfside bankruptcy attorney asset protection

Everyone’s biggest fear with filing for bankruptcy is losing everything -- your house, vehicles, savings, and more. What many do not know is that filing for bankruptcy does not mean that everything is taken away from you. There are a number of exemptions that Florida allows its residents to keep their assets even after filing for bankruptcy. In order to classify for such exemptions, you must be a Florida resident, not a recently relocated individual. You must have lived in Florida for the past two years to qualify, and if not, you will have to follow your previous state’s exemption requirements. Although it is always best to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer, you should be aware of possible exemptions available to you.

Homestead Exemption

If you are a Florida homeowner, you will likely be able to keep your home after filing for bankruptcy. Most states limit the amount of equity you can have in your house, but Florida is slightly more lenient. As long as you bought and have owned your property 1,215 days (a little less than 3.5 years) before filing, and your property does not exceed a half-acre in size, you qualify for Florida’s homestead exemption.

Wildcard Exemption

In order to avoid homeowners having a significant advantage over non-homeowners, Floridians are also offered a wildcard exemption. For those who do not own a home, or simply do not wish to use the homestead exemption, they are able to claim up to $4,000 worth of personal property in their bankruptcy case. This can include vehicles, household items, jewelry, and more. The Wildcard Exemption is helpful for those who have more than $1,000, which is the personal property exemption amount available, in personal property that they wish to protect.

Retirement

The state of Florida does not delve into a bankruptcy filer’s retirement plans. So, any money that you have saved up over the years and set aside for your retirement is kept separate from your bankruptcy case. 401(k)s are exempt, and IRAs are exempt up to $1,171,650. In addition, federal government employees’ pension payments that are used for support and were received up to three months before filing are considered exempt. 

Contact a Broward County Bankruptcy Lawyer

The exemptions listed above are only a few of the available options to Florida residents filing for bankruptcy. Before making a decision on the process, it is important to speak with a reputable attorney about how you should proceed. There are different ways to file for bankruptcy and your eligibility for the listed exemptions may shift depending on your circumstances. The Elliot Legal Group, P.A. has built a reputation of integrity and quality service throughout the state of Florida. We have two locations to appeal to our extensive client list and take on new clients with ease. For help with your bankruptcy case, contact our knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney at 754-332-2101 to schedule your initial consultation.

 

Sources:

https://upsolve.org/learn/florida-chapter-7-bankruptcy-exemption/ 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0200-0299/0222/0222.html

 

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