Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions

One legitimate cause of concern for everyone who files for bankruptcy is whether all their assets will be liquidated to pay off creditors leaving them with nothing. Do you have such a concern? The good news is that Federal and State laws stipulate certain assets under specific conditions are exempted from liquidation and thus will remain your property.

Here we have a list of properties and assets under various categories that are exempt under Florida law:

Homestead Exemption

Under Florida law, your home is exempt from being seized and liquidated to repay your debts in a bankruptcy. Your home can come in the form of real or personal property, including mobile or modular homes of unlimited value. However, there are some conditions that determine this.

Your property must not exceed 1/2 acres in size if located within a town or city and 160 acres if outside a town or city. You, your spouse or child may claim the exemption. If your property is held under tenancy by the entirety, it may be exempt if only one spouse owes the debt. If both spouses owe the debt, the usual homestead exemptions apply. You may apply for a homestead declaration for the exemptions.

These are the general conditions. To determine the precise conditions that apply to you specifically, please call us at Tampa Bankruptcy (813) 200-4133.

Personal Property

Prepaid hurricane savings accounts deposits, deposits into a prepaid college education trust and prepaid medical savings accounts deposits are exempted from being used in bankruptcy proceedings to pay off debts.

Other forms of personal property that are exempt include your motor vehicle up to $1,000 in value, professionally prescribed health aids (such as hearing aids, wheelchairs or therapeutic equipment) and your income tax credits or refunds. Also included in exemption are your pre-needed funeral contract deposits. Finally, any property you have up to $1,000 in value is generally exempted also if you are single. If you are a couple, your exemption for any property you own is $2,000.

This is according to the principle of doubling. Florida state allows couples that file for bankruptcy together to claim double or separate exemptions.

Insurance

If you surrender you life insurance policy, its cash surrender value is exempted from being used to pay creditors. Likewise, annuity proceeds (not lottery winnings), illness and disability benefits and death benefits that are payable to a beneficiary and not the deceased estate are exempted. Furthermore, if you have a fraternal benefit society payment that you received before October 1, 1996, it is exempted as well.