Florida, along with thirty-seven other states, abide by their own list of bankruptcy property exemptions rather than follow “The Federal List” utilized by national courts. Many are intrigued in particular by the Sunshine State’s homestead exemptions that protect their houses from creditors no matter how much it is worth, provided that it meets certain criteria. Along with other exemption benefits unique to Florida, people are wondering what residency requirements they must meet in order to file for bankruptcy in the state.
It may be in your family’s best interest to file in Florida versus the state you moved from in order to protect important assets you care about. Bankruptcy is a difficult process that leaves one financially insecure and any property they can keep away from their creditor’s hands is peace to their anxious mind. We are on your side and want to help you take advantage of the generous exemption laws Florida has to offer so you can get back on your feet again.
Your homestead in Florida will be impervious to the destructive hands of creditors under current bankruptcy property exemption laws as long as it meets two main criteria. They are that, before filing, you have owned the property for the last 1,215 days and the property is less than half an acre if it resides in the city and 160 acres outside metropolitans. Other states that abide by “The Federal List” of exemptions provided by national courts or their own list often limit saving your home according to how much it is worth, meaning that any valuable properties would be sunk.
If you do not own a Florida home, the state’s bankruptcy property exemptions are useful since they will increase the dollar amount on protected assets. Under state laws, individuals would normally be afforded up to $1,000 of personal property, but non-homeowners have the opportunity to protect an additional $4,000 of personal property. Also, prepaid college savings accounts cannot be touched if you file for bankruptcy in Florida and you gain the advantage of having $1,000 towards equity in a vehicle.
Florida courts will look at the past 180 days before you file for bankruptcy and the state you lived the majority of that time in is where you can file from. This means that those that wish to apply for Florida exemptions in their division are required to live in the Sunshine State for at least 91 days. Otherwise, you will have to file for bankruptcy in the state you lived in for over half of the 180 day rule and abide by their laws for access creditors have to your property.
However, Florida bankruptcy exemptions will not become active until you prove at least two year’s residency in your desired division, which is a separate issue from filing. For example, if you lived in Florida for exactly 91 days and filed on that date, you would still have to wait another 639 days before your house and other assets were handled under its bankruptcy exemption laws. This is because smart homeowners broke the original system by moving to Florida when their finances tanked and filing for bankruptcy so they would not lose their million dollar home.
Bankruptcy timing is key to obtaining your desired state’s property exemptions and keeping the valuables that are most important to you as well as the future of your family.
At Dave Roy Law, we can help you make the best out of your bankruptcy journey and help protect the things and people that matter to you most. Our local attorneys in West Palm Beach seek to understand your legal situation and provide solutions that will give you the greatest investments on your assets based on bankruptcy property exemptions.
Still have questions about filing for bankruptcy in Florida? Our team is willing and ready to assist you. Give our firm a call by dialing 561-729-0095 or scheduling an appointment on our online contact form.