Florida Bankruptcy Information

One thing you should know is that bankruptcy is NOT the same in every state. Florida is among the most liberal, if not the most liberal state in the US when it comes to bankruptcy matters. That means the Bankruptcy Code of Florida gives you a lot more benefits than the bankruptcy codes in other states. For example, you can keep more property in Florida than in other states because Florida has opted out of the Federal schemes for exemptions.

With that in mind, you should not hesitate to file for bankruptcy protection if you need it. Please refer to our section ‘Bankruptcy Evaluation’ to determine whether you should make a bankruptcy filing. Better still, call our expert Tampa bankruptcy lawyer for some expert advice based on your particular situation (813) 200 4133.

I have categorized the information about Florida bankruptcy into various categories:

Basic Understanding of the Bankruptcy Code

The Bankruptcy Code contains two chapters that are most commonly referred to when filing for bankruptcy. They are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy would wipe out all your unsecured debts (debts without collaterals) like credit card debts and medical bills without you paying anything. On the other hand a Chapter 13 bankruptcy entails restructuring your debts so that you can pay them off over a period of time according to a payment schedule. In order to qualify for Chapter 7, you need to pass the means test i.e. you have to be earning below the state minimum average income of a family the size of yours. Also, your expenses for basic needs like your mortgage, utilities and transport must be within the standards set by the IRS.

As of January 2012, the table below shows the median income for Florida.:
Family Size Annual Gross Amount Monthly Gross Amount
1 $40,766 $3,397.16
2 $49,729 $4,144.08
3 $52,840 $4,403.33
4 $62,742 $5,228.50
5 $70,242 $5,853.50
6 $77,742 $6,478.50
7 $85,242 $7,103.50
8 $92,742 $7,728.50
9 $100,242 $8,353.50
10 $107,742 $8,978.50

If you earn above the level of income in the means test or if your expenses for basic needs are above the predetermined level, then you have to opt for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing instead. However, the final decision rests with the judge of the bankruptcy court. Sometimes even if your income passes the means test, the judge may still not permit you to file under Chapter 7 if he or she feels you have the means to pay your debts under Chapter 13.