Keep Your Home During Bankruptcy
Florida Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Help
Are you thinking about filing for a personal bankruptcy but have concerns about whether you will be able to keep your home? Whether you’re filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Florida law typically allows most homeowners to retain their homes through a specific homestead exemption.
A homestead exemption allows debtors who file for bankruptcy to exempt some (or all) of the equity in their homes from bankruptcy proceedings. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the homestead exemption permits you to exempt the equity in your home from liquidation. And differently, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the homestead exemption helps to determine how much money you will pay to your creditors in your repayment plan. A federal homestead exemption exists, but many states, including Florida, require debtors to use state exemptions when they file for bankruptcy. As a result, if you decide to file for a consumer bankruptcy in Florida, you will need to use the Florida homestead exemption.
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, it’s very important to have an experienced Florida bankruptcy lawyer on your side who can help you through this complicated process. At the law firm of Kelley & Fulton, P.L., our bankruptcy attorneys have been assisting clients in South Florida for years, and we can take a look at your case today.
Florida Homestead Exemption
Florida has one of the more generous homestead exemptions in our country, and as a result more Florida residents who file for personal bankruptcy are able to keep their homes. In order to understand how the homestead exemption works in our state, it’s a good idea to look at the laws that govern it.
The Article X § 4 of Florida Constitution provides the homestead exemption, and Chapter 222 of the Florida Statutes allow debtors to file for a homestead exemption. Under this exemption, homes typically are exempt from bankruptcy proceedings with certain stipulations:
- Acreage: If located within a municipality, the homestead must not be more than ½ acre, and if located outside a municipality, the homestead must not be more than 160 acres
- Residency: In order to qualify for the homestead exemption, you must meet the Florida residency requirements.
- Home ownership: In order to qualify for the homestead exemption, you must have owned your home for a certain number of days as stipulated by Florida law.
Generally speaking, the homestead exemption is “applied liberally in favor of the homeowner,” according to the Florida Bar Journal. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the homestead exemption only applies to a house in which the debtor resides. In other words, the homestead exemption cannot apply to additional properties, such as a rental property or a vacation house.
Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, it is extremely important to have qualified legal counsel on your side. Florida bankruptcy law can be very tricky to navigate, but the Florida bankruptcy lawyers at Kelley & Fulton, P.L. have substantial experience handling bankruptcies in South Florida. We are dedicated to assisting Florida residents with consumer bankruptcies, and we can answer any questions you have about keeping your home during bankruptcy and the nuances of the Florida homestead exemption. Contact us today to learn more.