In Florida, as long as you are current on your mortgage and you have owned your home for more than 1,215 days prior to filing, you don’t have to worry about losing your home in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This often comes as good news to people with significant credit card balances or medical debt, and others who seek consumer debt relief through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
When you don’t have to worry about losing the roof over your head in bankruptcy, it can be a lot easier to take the steps you need to pursue debt relief.
What Is the Florida Homestead Exemption?
The homestead exemption in Florida allows homeowners in Florida to protect an unlimited amount of equity in their home during Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Qualifying for this exemption, however, requires a homeowner to have lived in Florida for at least 40 months. The property they wish to exempt must not be larger than a half-acre in a municipality or 160 acres elsewhere. The home a Florida bankruptcy filer wishes to exempt in Chapter 7 must also be the filer’s primary residence, which excludes rental and vacation properties.
What If I’ve Lived in Florida for Fewer Than 40 Months?
If a bankruptcy filer is a more recent Florida resident, they may still qualify for an exemption of up to $160,000 (per person if filing jointly) in home equity.
What If I’m Behind on My Mortgage?
If you have mortgage arrears, choosing Chapter 13 might be a better option if you’re trying to keep your home. Although both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 temporarily stop foreclosure proceedings, only Chapter 13 can help you reorganize unpaid mortgage debt into a multi-year repayment plan.
Again, however, you don’t need to worry about foreclosure if you’ve kept up with your mortgage. This is why it might be more important to prioritize it over other dischargeable debts and seek debt relief for credit card balances, medical debt, and others like these with Chapter 7.
Just keep in mind that there are some debts that no type of bankruptcy can discharge.
We Can Help with Bankruptcy
If you want to be sure that you can keep your home during bankruptcy, our lawyers at Buchalter & Pelphrey Attorneys at Law can help. We provide the legal guidance those who need debt relief require when they’re ready to take the next step.
For more information and to request a free consultation, contact us online today!