Will I lose everything in bankruptcy?

Heavens no. Florida is one of the most generous exemption states in the U.S. You will certainly keep your house and most of your belongings, retirement accounts, and even some cash that is traceable to the head of your household. Generally, exemptions in Florida fall into these categories:

  • Homestead (equity in dwelling used as residence)
    - Property cannot exceed 1/2 acre inside a municipality or 160 acres outside the municipality
    - Unlimited value in property
  • Equity in automobile
    - Up to $1,000 in value in one motor vehicle (double if married)
  • Personal property
    - Household items (animals, appliances, furniture, clothes, etc.), up to $1,000 in value- this includes jewelry and heirlooms (double if married). An additional $4,000 exemption is available for persons who do not own a home or who are surrendering their home in the bankruptcy (double if married).
  • Insurance
    - Disability benefits
    - Unmatured life insurance is also usually exempt, but exceptions apply
  • Pensions
    - ERISA qualified benefits needed for support
    - County employees (includes firefighters and police officers)
    - Public employees
    - Public retirement benefits
  • Public benefits
    - Unemployment
    - Workers' compensation
    - Public assistance
    - Social security
    - Veteran' benefits
  • Alimony and child support
    - Amount reasonably necessary for support of debtor and dependents

Note however that not all exemptions are available to all persons or in certain combinations. You should consult with a smart bankruptcy attorney for help determining which exemptions you may be eligible for.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.