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Reed Law Blog  ~ Dean A. Reed

CAN I KEEP MY STUFF IF I FILE BANKRUPTCY IN FLORIDA?


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The simple answer is yes. You will not be forced to sell your property to pay your creditors if you file for bankruptcy. You are allowed to keep your personal property and real estate if you file bankruptcy because of a legal term called “Exemptions”. Exemptions allow you to exclude property from being taken from you when you file bankruptcy.

Your property can be exempt based on what type of property it is. An example of this would be your home. It is protected from forced sell by both the Florida Constitution Art X § 4(a)(1) and Florida Statute § 222.01 and §222.02 what is known as “Homestead Exemption”. They allow you to keep your home no matter what the value of the home and whether or not there is a mortgage.

Another way you are allowed to keep your stuff is also by Florida statute that allows you to keep items up to a certain dollar amount. Each individual is allowed to keep $1,000.00 of their personal property. So you’re allowed to keep your furniture, clothing, electronics and jewelry so long as the combined value of these items do not exceed $1,000.00.

You’re also able to keep your car. However, the value of the car has to be no more than $1,000.00, or if being financed, the equity in the car cannot exceed $1,000.00.

If you don’t own a home and don’t use the homestead exemption you are allowed to keep an extra $4,000.00 worth of personal property including a car worth more than $1,000.00 or with more than $1,000.00 in equity.

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