Protecting Your Property During Bankruptcy
Compassionate Attorneys Help You Keep Your Home
Filing bankruptcy means that your debts outweigh your ability to repay them. It does not, however, mean that you must make a pledge to live in abject poverty to obtain debt relief. Both federal and state bankruptcy laws allow a debtor who files Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to retain a certain amount of exempt property.
Understanding the best methods of asset protection is critical as you approach bankruptcy. Debt Relief Legal Group works hard to make sure that our clients are well informed. Our Tampa bankruptcy attorneys aim to help clients maximize the financial solutions that bankruptcy provides while minimizing negative consequences such as liquidation of personal property.
Most residents of Florida file bankruptcy using Florida’s exemptions.
Protecting your assets when you file bankruptcy in Florida begins with basic knowledge of those exemptions, including:
- Unlimited homestead exemption for any size of home that you own in Florida, with some acreage limitations, including a mobile home
- $1,000 worth of personal property per spouse, including clothing and home furnishings
- $4,000 rather than $1,000 for personal property if there is no homestead exemption
- $1,000 vehicle exemption per spouse; your personal property exemption can be used to increase this amount
- Retirement accounts, including IRA, 401(k) and pensions
- Security income
- Property owned held as tenancy by the entirety (this type of property may be exempt against debts owed by only one spouse)
The application of Florida bankruptcy laws to your situation will depend on unique factors pertaining to your income, assets, debts, cost of living and so on. Individual circumstances vary greatly. For this reason, the most important thing you can do to protect your assets when preparing to file bankruptcy is to ask an experienced attorney to review the facts of your case in detail and make recommendations that suit your particular circumstances.
Do you have student loans? Does your roof need repair? Have you given or received gifts of money to or from family members? Have you cashed in stocks or canceled a life insurance policy? Is a personal injury settlement coming your way in the near future? Is divorce on the horizon?
Your answers to these and other key questions will help determine how you can best protect all exempt property when filing bankruptcy in Florida.