Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions 101

florida bankruptcy exemptionsIf you’re reading this blog post, you’re most likely a Florida resident interested in learning more about your bankruptcy exemptions options. Did you know that if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can use these exemptions to keep a portion or all of your property?

Additionally, if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, these exemptions can affect how much you’ll pay your creditors through your plan.

Here is a partial list of Florida bankruptcy exemptions that residents can take advantage of:

Homestead Exemption

As a Florida resident, you’re lucky to have one of the best homestead exemptions in the country. Under the homestead exemption, you can exempt unlimited value in your home or other allowed property. There are stipulations to this exemption including that your property must be under half an acre in a municipality of 160 acres elsewhere.

Personal Injury Exemption

If you work in a hazardous occupation and received damages from a personal injury settlement, you’ll be happy to know that your settlement is exempt.

Insurance Policy and Annuity Exemption

There are a variety of exemptions relating to insurance and annuity payments. Fraternal benefit society benefits and disability income benefits are fully exempt. Additionally, life insurance proceeds are exempt when they are payable to a specific beneficiary.

Public Benefits Exemption

Public benefits including social security benefits, veteran benefits, public assistance benefits, workers compensation benefits and reemployment assistance are exempt under Florida Bankruptcy law.  Crime victim’s benefits are usually exempt unless the debtor is looking to discharge the debt for injury treatment.

Alimony and Child Support Exemption

Parents and guardians will be happy to know that alimony and child support payments are exempt to the extent reasonably necessary.

Florida Pension Exemption

Many Florida pension plans are exempt. These include:

  • Teacher’s retirement benefits
  • Firefighter pensions
  • Municipal police pensions
  • Florida Retirement System benefits
  • County officer benefits
  • IRA’s are exempt up to $1,171,650.00
  • ERISA qualified retirement plans and pensions

Wages Exemption

One of the most common questions we are asked about at Berkowitz & Myer is if wages are exempt while claiming bankruptcy. If you are the head of your family, $750.00 of your weekly wages are exempt. This includes both paid and unpaid wages deposited into your bank account in the previous six months time. Other members of your family will have a smaller protected amount.

These are some of the most common Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions. There are many others that may apply in your situation. Please contact us for a free consultation.

Attorneys are one of those things in life you hope you never need, but when you do you should make sure you select the right one and Berkowitz & Myer is the right one.


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