Bankruptcy Exemptions When filing for bankruptcy in Florida, the Florida bankruptcy exemptions list the property one can protect or exempt from creditors. Properties listed in the exemption chart are exempt to the exact value as listed. The person filing for bankruptcy gets to keep this property which has been exempted after they file for bankruptcy. However, certain debts are indelible when it comes to bankruptcy.

See also: Keeping your Home in Bankruptcy 

The exemptions prove beneficial for Florida residents as they include cash surrender value of a life insurance policy, indefinite exclusions for homesteads and annuities.

A resident is qualified for claiming exemptions provided they have been a resident for 24 months/730 days/2 years before actually filing for bankruptcy. In case a married couple is filing for bankruptcy jointly, each spouse is entitled to claim the maximum amount for each exemption unless specified otherwise.

In case one is not a resident of Florida for the duration mentioned above, there are provisions to claim for exemptions in this scenario as well. If the person filing for bankruptcy has been a Florida resident for 180 days prior to the 2 year period specified above and is domiciled there or if the greater part of the 180 days were spent in Florida while the rest were spent in other states, the claimant is entitled to these exemptions under Florida law.

The exemption limit applies to any equity the claimant has in the property. Failure to recover the equity may result in liquidation of the asset(s) and distribution of the proceeds.

What are these exemptions?

Broadly, the exemptions a Florida resident is entitled to after filing for bankruptcy are as follows:

Homestead: The state is probably the most magnanimous when it comes to homestead exemptions. Provided that the property measures not more than half an acre in a municipality or 160 acres elsewhere, the claimant can exempt an unlimited amount in their home or property covered by the homestead exemption. The property must be owned for a minimum of 1215 days preceding the filing of bankruptcy.

Personal Property such as furniture, electronics and art  are exempt up to $1000 by way of claim.

Motor Vehicle:  A claim of up to $1000 of the equity for the legal owner of the vehicle is permitted. The equity is the difference between the vehicle’s actual value and the unsettled car loan.

Wages, commissions, salary or bonus  paid and deposited in a bank account or due, provided the same was not in deposit for more than 6 months (the funds can be traced and exemption has not been relinquished).

Wild Card: Additionally, an exemption of $4000 may be applied to anything of claimants’ choice, if the homestead exemption is not claimed.

Other exemptions include Retirement Plans such as Pension & IRAs; Government Assistance such as Social Security, Qualified Tuition Plans, Pre-paid Tuition Plans and Educational Savings Accounts; Health & Medical Savings Accounts; Annuity Contract Payments & Life Insurance Policies having Cash Value; Received or Claimed Earned Income Tax Credit; Health Aids prescribed professionally.

Exemptions available are revoked if claimants attempt to defraud the state by transferring the property in anticipation of bankruptcy or implementation of any other fraudulent means to claim exemptions.

If you have any questions about Florida bankruptcy exemptions or would like to speak to us about your options, please contact us at (813) 518-7411. We represent clients during stressful and difficult times in their lives. We are empathetic, responsive, and push for a quick resolution. We look forward to helping you resolve your issue quickly, fairly, and in a way that will help you to return to the stable, predictable life that you deserve.