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Law offices of Stephen Barszcz Disability Lawyer

What Assets Can I Keep If I File For Bankruptcy?


When you are considering the possibility of filing for consumer bankruptcy in the St. Petersburg area, you are likely wondering about the assets you currently own and whether or not you will be able to keep them. Your ability to retain particular assets will depend upon a variety of factors specific to your situation, including the type of bankruptcy you are planning to file for, whether you are planning to use the homestead exemption, and whether a majority of your assets are exempt under Florida law. You should know that assets are not liquidated in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, so the question of whether or not you will be able to retain certain property will largely be applicable only if you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a form of liquidation bankruptcy.

While you should seek specific advice about your assets and your bankruptcy situation from a St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorney who can help you, debtors in Florida are frequently able to keep the following assets when they file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Your Pensions 

Retirement accounts are often exempt entirely, which means your pensions will not be liquidated in a bankruptcy case.

Your Home 

If you are not at risk of foreclosure but you are seeking bankruptcy protection as a result of other consumer debts, you will most likely be able to keep your home as a result of Florida’s extremely generous homestead exemption. Under Florida law, a debtor who is filing for consumer bankruptcy can exempt all of the equity in their home. Accordingly, even if your home is paid off and you have more than $100,000 of equity in your home, you will not lose your house thanks to Florida’s homestead exemption. It is among the most generous in the country.

Keep in mind, however, that you must meet certain requirements in order to use the homestead exemption. For instance, you must have owned your home for at least 1,215 days before you filed for bankruptcy, and you cannot own more than half of an acre in a municipal area or more than 160 acres outside a municipal area.

Benefits You Receive 

Workers’ compensation benefits, veterans’ benefits, and other types of public benefits are exempt under Florida law.

Your Cell Phone and Computer 

Unless you have extremely valuable electronics, you will often be able to keep your cell phone and your computer. Under Florida law, you are allowed to exempt up to $1,000 of personal property. That amount pertains to the present value of your property, not the value of your property when you purchased it. Since computers and cell phones tend to decline in value over time, you may be able to exempt both even with a $1,000 personal property exemption. And if you do not use the homestead exemption, you will have a personal property exemption of $4,000.

Seek Advice from a St. Petersburg Bankruptcy Lawyer 

Do you have questions about your assets in connection with a consumer bankruptcy case? Our experienced St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorneys are here to assist you. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz to speak with one of our lawyers about your situation.


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