bankruptcy to fight off massive debt can be a pretty frightful experience, if you
are going through it without the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. The common
message in news and entertainment medias is that bankruptcy is going to
take away all of your debt, but also all of your possessions. The reality
could not be further from the truth. With a carefully planned bankruptcy
and Florida State’s own bankruptcy exemption rules, you may be able
to walk away from your debt with more to your name that you first believed.
If you are a resident of Florida who has lived within the state for at
least 730 days (2 years), you should qualify for most, if not all, of
Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions.
Some of the most prominent, common, and useful bankruptcy exemptions in
Automobile: Florida bankruptcy exemptions are not too kind to motor vehicles. You
will only be able to exempt up to $1,000 worth of your car’s value
should you file for bankruptcy.
Benefits and polices: Many benefits or compensation earned through employment or hardship are
fully exempt under Florida bankruptcy law. This may include workers’
compensation benefits, monies earned through personal injury lawsuits,
and life insurance policy payments made directly in your name.
Homestead: If you own a home or property in a city or township that is less than half
an acre, it can qualify for an unlimited homestead exemption, meaning
you can protect its entire value from bankruptcy collections. The same
can be said if you own land in an isolated or rural area that is less
than 160 acres.
Personal affects: You can keep up to $1,000 worth of your own “stuff” through
Florida’s personal property exemptions; this can include furniture,
electronics, appliances, etc. You should also be able to keep the full
value of your prescription medications, medical saving accounts, and also
savings based on hurricane relief funds.
Wages: The first $750 you earn each week through wages and salary are protected
through wage exemption. Beyond that, or money earned by people who are
not the head of your household, are likely to be collected.
Wildcard: If you do not or cannot benefit from the homestead exemption (see above),
you are given the choice of the “wildcard exemption.” This
will allow you to keep $4,000 of personal property that otherwise would
have not been exempt.
The list of exemptions for your own bankruptcy filing could be shorter
than the list above, or significantly longer. It all depends on the details
of your case and your personal finances and expenses. To get a complete
idea of how much you can protect from bankruptcy, be sure to
contact our Jacksonville bankruptcy attorneys at Albaugh Law Firm today. We can even get you started with a free and