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Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions

What Exemptions are allowed when filing bankruptcy in Florida?

In Florida there is certain property which is either exempt or excluded so that the debtor can keep it. Property or asset exemptions are determined based upon your personal income and situation. The best way to determine which property you will be entitled to keep requires an analysis of your personal situation and case. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can assist you. Finding a good bankruptcy lawyer is the key to a successful bankruptcy plan. They know the law and can give you detailed information that relates to your own situation. The bankruptcy process can seem overwhelming and a qualified bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the process.

The exemptions for the state of Florida are listed below.

Assets

  1. Homestead
    1. Real or personal property including mobile homes, modular homes or condominium, to limited value
    2. 1/2 acre in a municipality or 160 acres elsewhere
    3. Tenancies by the entireties in real property are exempt as to debt of one spouse
    4. May file homestead exemption
  2. Insurance:
    1. Life insurance cash surrender value
    2. Fraternal benefit society benefits
    3. Disability or illness benefits
    4. Death benefits payable to a specific beneficiary, not the deceased estate
    5. Annuity contract proceeds; does not include lottery winnings
  3. Miscellaneous:
    1. Alimony and/or child support needed for support
    2. Damages to employees for injuries in hazardous occupations
  4. Personal Property:
    1. Any personal property to $1,000 (Husband and wife may double)
    2. Motor vehicle to $1,000
    3. Health aids
    4. Federal income tax credits or refunds
    5. Prepaid hurricane savings accounts, prepaid medical savings account deposits, and prepaid college education trust deposits
  5. Pensions:
    1. Tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs and defined benefit plans
    2. Traditional and ROTH IRAs to $1 million per person
    3. County officers and employees
    4. Firefighter
    5. Police officers
    6. Teachers
    7. State officers, employees
    8. ERISA-qualified benefits
  6. Public Benefits:
    1. Public Assistance
    2. Social Security
    3. Unemployment compensation
    4. Veterans' benefit
    5. Workers' compensation
    6. Crime victim's compensation, unless seeking to discharge debt for treatment of injury incurred during the crime
  7. Tools of Trade: None
  8. Wages:
    1. 100% of wages for heads of family up to $500 per week either unpaid or paid deposited into bank account for up to 6 months.
  9. Wildcard: See personal property

Federal Exemptions
Florida residents are also entitled to certain federal benefits in addition to the state exemptions. They are:

  1. Retirement Benefits:
    1. CIA employees
    2. Civil service employees
    3. Foreign service employees
    4. Military honor roll pensions
    5. Military service employees
    6. Railroad workers
    7. Social Security
    8. Veterans' benefits
    9. Veterans' Medal of Honor benefits
  2. Survivor's Benefits:
    1. Judges, U.S. Court directors, judicial center directors, Supreme Court Chief justice administrators
    2. Lighthouse workers
    3. Military service
  3. Death and Disability Benefits:
    1. Government employees
    2. Longshoremen and harbor workers
    3. War risk hazard, death or injury compensation
  4. Miscellaneous:
    1. Military deposits in savings accounts while on permanent duty outside the continental U.S.
    2. Military group life insurance
    3. Railroad workers' unemployment insurance
    4. Seamen's clothing
    5. Seaman's wages, while at sea, pursuant to a written contract
    6. 75% of unpaid wages, bankruptcy judge may authorize more for low-income debtors.

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