Florida State Bankruptcy Laws


What are the Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions?

FloridaFlorida law protects all or a portion of your property from being seized by creditors or the bankruptcy trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are generally allowed to keep all of your assets and property. Certain exceptions may apply, so it's wise to consult with a Florida bankruptcy attorney to find which of your assets will be protected in a bankruptcy filed in Florida. In general, the major Florida bankruptcy exemptions include:

General Florida Exemptions
Real Estate (the Homestead Exemption)
Up to $50,000 of equity in your principal residence can be protected. 160 acres of land and improvements if located outside a municipality or ½ acre of land and improvements for a residence located in a municipality may be protected. Also, Florida has a 100% exemption for a leased dwelling place (including mobile homes).

A provision in the new bankruptcy law caps the homestead exemption at $125,000 if you have not lived in the state for at least 40 months prior to the time you file a bankruptcy petition. In some situations, the cap may be permanent. You should consult with a Florida bankruptcy attorney for specific information.

Automobiles
Up to $1,000 of equity in one motor vehicle can be protected.
Other Property
Any type of personal property valuing up to $1,000 and 100% of the value of hearing aids are protected.
Go to the complete list of Florida bankruptcy exemptions

Please remember that this page provides general information only, and is not intended to provide legal advice. The information is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. If you need legal assistance, consult an attorney.

Which state's exemption laws apply in your bankruptcy?

FloridaGenerally, the laws of the state in which you lived for the 730 days (2 years) prior to filing a bankruptcy petition will apply in your bankruptcy.

If you have not lived in the same state for the 2 years immediately prior to filing your bankruptcy petition, the laws of the state in which you lived for the majority of the 180-day period preceding the 2-year period will likely apply.

If application of the preceding general rules renders you ineligible for exemptions under any state's laws, you may be allowed to choose the federal exemptions applicable in your bankruptcy.

Is Florida a community property state?

No, Florida is not a community property state. Because it is not a community property state, you will be responsible for your spouse's debts only if you voluntarily assumed those debts by, for example, co-signing on a loan given to your spouse. In a non-community property state, one spouse can file for bankruptcy and be eligible to eliminate all of their unsecured debts without the involvement of the other spouse.

How did your senator vote on the new bankruptcy laws?

Following years of intense lobbying by creditors, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). How did your Senators vote on these largely pro-creditor provisions?

Martinez (R-FL) — YEA
Nelson (D-FL) — YEA

Florida Bankruptcy Court Locations:

Tampa Courthouse
801 N. Florida Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33602

Orlando Courthouse
135 West Central Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32801

Jacksonville Courthouse
300 North Hogan Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

Fort Myers Courthouse
2110 First Street
Fort Myers, Florida 33901

110 East Park Avenue
Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 521-5001

220 West Garden Street
Suite 700
Pensacola, FL 32502-5745
(850) 435-8475

Claude Pepper Federal Building
51 S.W. 1st Avenue,
Room 1517
Miami, FL 33130
(305) 714-1800

U.S. Courthouse
299 E. Broward Blvd.,
Room 112
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 769-5700

Forum Complex Building
1675 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
8th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 514-4100

Note: You may not have to actually go to one of the above bankruptcy courts. Trustees often conduct your meeting at a local venue.

Although bankruptcy is federal law, the bankruptcy courts in each jurisdiction have local rules that must be followed. A local bankruptcy attorney will be familiar with the specific rules in your area.

Florida Bankruptcy Attorney Locations:

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Bankruptcy Laws in Your State