Will I Be Able to Keep All My Home’s Equity if I File for Bankruptcy in Florida?

Written By: Emil FleysherJuly 27, 2023
Will I be able to keep my all homes equity if I file for bankruptcy in Florida

In Florida, the homestead exemption provides certain protections for your primary residence in bankruptcy proceedings. Under the Florida Constitution, if your homestead property meets certain criteria, it can be exempt from the claims of most creditors, including during bankruptcy.

The Key Criteria for a Property to Qualify for the Homestead Exemption in Florida

The key criteria for a property to qualify for the homestead exemption in Florida

Size Limitation

The property must be your primary residence, and it must not exceed half an acre within a municipality or 160 acres outside a municipality. In Florida, if your homestead property is located within a municipality (city or town) and exceeds the half-acre limitation, the exemption is limited to one-half acre. In other words, only the first half-acre of the property is exempt, and the remaining portion may be subject to the claims of creditors in bankruptcy.

Ownership Requirement

You must have legal ownership or equitable title to the property. This typically means that you must be on the deed or have a legal interest in the property. However, if you file for bankruptcy and your non-filing spouse owns the homestead, then the homestead exemption will be imputed to you whether you want it or not. This is important because debtors in bankruptcy who do not claim the homestead exemption are entitled to an additional $4,000 in what's called a "wildcard" exemption. Wildcard exemptions can be applied to whatever property the debtor would otherwise be forced to surrender in Ch. 7 bankruptcy.

Permanent Residence

You must use the property as your permanent residence or intend to do so. This means that on the day you file your bankruptcy petition, it is your desire and intent to indefinitely live on the property as your primary home.

Time Requirement

To claim the full, unlimited homestead exemption in Florida, you must have acquired title to your home at least 1,215 days prior to filing for bankruptcy. If you file for bankruptcy before 1,215 days have passed since you acquired the property, the maximum exemption amount for your homestead is $170,350 (as of April 1, 2022). This limit is subject to adjustment every three years based on the Consumer Price Index. It's important to note that this limit applies to the equity in your home, not the total value of the property.

As of September 2021, the Florida homestead exemption provides an unlimited exemption for the value of your homestead property if it meets the four criteria mentioned above. This means that creditors generally cannot force the sale of your primary residence to satisfy debts, including during bankruptcy.

It's important to note that bankruptcy laws and exemptions can be subject to change, and it's crucial to consult with a qualified Florida bankruptcy attorney for the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your specific circumstances and the current laws applicable in Florida. They will be able to give personalized advice and guidance regarding your homestead property and its exemption status in bankruptcy.

Get in Touch With Fleysher Law for an Initial Consultation With Our Bankruptcy Attorney

Get in touch with Fleysher Law for an initial consultation

Take action now to secure your home and financial stability. Contact Fleysher Law today for a personalized consultation. Our knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys will assess your specific circumstances and provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding your homestead property's exemption status in bankruptcy.

During your consultation, we will:

  1. Assess your unique situation: Our attorneys will carefully review the details of your case, taking into consideration the size, ownership, and usage of your homestead property, as well as the time requirements for claiming exemptions.
  2. Provide up-to-date information: Our team stays abreast of the latest bankruptcy laws and exemptions, ensuring you receive accurate and current advice tailored to your circumstances.
  3. Explain complex legal terms: We understand that legal jargon can be overwhelming. Our attorneys will break down complex concepts into simple terms, empowering you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.
  4. Create a personalized strategy: Based on your specific needs and objectives, we will develop a customized plan to protect your home's equity and mitigate risks, all while complying with the Florida homestead exemption laws.

Don't leave your future to chance. Let our experts guide you through the complex legal processes, ensuring you keep your home's equity protected. Schedule your consultation now and gain the peace of mind you deserve. Take the first step towards financial peace of mind by reaching out to us today.

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