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Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions

If you are filing for bankruptcy, you may be concerned about losing all your possessions. Fortunately, there are certain exemptions that protect certain assets from seizure. There are state exemptions and federal exemptions, and state exemptions vary depending on the state. Florida’s bankruptcy laws are distinct in many ways, one of them being that you cannot use federal exemptions and are required to utilize Florida bankruptcy exemptions. Read on to learn more about Florida bankruptcy exemptions and what they cover.

How Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions Work

The kind of bankruptcy you file determines what happens to any nonexempt assets. To plan for exemptions, you will need to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer regarding which bankruptcy your situation qualifies for. While there are many different kinds of bankruptcies to file for, the most common are under chapters 7 and 13. 

When you file bankruptcy under chapter 7, your bankruptcy trustee collects any non exempt property to sell and pay revenue to creditors. When you file chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can keep your valuables, but you are required to pay back either the value of your nonexempt property items or disposable income in your repayment plan (whichever adds up to a higher value).

Florida Bankruptcy Exemption Types

There are many different exemptions in the state of Florida that could come into play if you are filing for bankruptcy. Some common types of Florida bankruptcy exemptions include: 

  • Florida’s Homestead Exemption: You will probably claim this exemption if you want to keep your house. Florida’s Homestead Exemption covers properties like homes, mobile homes, burial grounds, etc., and doesn’t have a limit on the equity you have on a house as long as you’ve owned the property for close to 3.5 years (along with some size/area stipulations). 
  • Florida Wage Exemption: Your wages will be exempt up to $750 per week (or 30 times the federal minimum wage) if you are the head of household filing for bankruptcy. If you’re not the head of household and are filing bankruptcy, your wages will be protected up to 75% or 30 times the federal minimum wage.
  • Florida Personal Property Exemption: Certain personal property items like art, furniture, and electronics are exempt up to $1,000. The limit is $4000 if the homestead exemption isn’t used, and additional exempt personal property items include:
    • Funeral costs
    • Tax credits and refunds
    • Prepaid medical savings account and health savings account (HSA) deposits
    • Education savings, hurricane savings, and health savings 
    • Prescribed hearing aids
    • Certain item shield in partnership
  • Florida Motor Vehicle Exemption: If you are single or filing separately, up to $1000 in equity on your motor vehicle can be exempted. This amount is higher if you are married and filing jointly. 

Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions

While Florida doesn’t let residents choose federal bankruptcy exemptions, there are specific federal exemptions allowed, known as federal nonbankruptcy exemptions. These apply to professions like the government, military, or individuals who receive Social Security, and the following are excused:

  • Death or disability benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Survivor’s benefits

Contact Us Today

If you are planning on filing for bankruptcy, you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Call BCN Law Firm to speak with an expert bankruptcy attorney today.