Sunday, October 30, 2011

Florida Exemptions in Bankruptcy

The Florida Constitution provides a homestead exemption which makes your home “sacred” property. This exemption is the most important one in Florida and covers up to ½ acre in a city and up to 160 acres outside of a city. In order to claim this exemption you must have owned the home for 40 months. If you owned the home for less than 40 months, then you can only claim $136,875.00 per person in equity.  The Constitution also provides an exemption of $1,000.00 in personal property for a single person and $2,000.00 in personal property for a married couple. If you do claim or receive the benefits of a homestead exemption, you can claim up to $4,000.00 in personal property.

The Florida Statutes also provide exemptions for $1,000.00 of equity in a single motor vehicle, pension or retirement funds, social security funds, pre-paid college funds, annuity contracts, disability benefits, prescribed health aids, medical savings accounts, hurricane savings accounts, wages and unemployment compensation, and the cash surrender value of life insurance policies.  In order to claim any of these exemptions, they must be included on Schedule C which is filed along with the other documents in your bankruptcy.

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