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Bankruptcy in Florida

Who can file for bankruptcy in Florida?

In order to file bankruptcy in the state of Florida you must either reside in, own property in, or have a business within the state of Florida.  You must also have not filed bankruptcy any time within the last 6 years, and be willing to honestly disclose all of your financial information to the court.  There are currently no income limits which must be met in order to file bankruptcy.

How do I know if I am eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

A means test will be applied in order to determine your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  In order to be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the means test must determine that your income for the previous year was less than the average income in the county of Florida in which you reside.  For instance, if you reside in Marion County Florida, your income will be compare to that of the average income for that county.  If your income is greater than the average income, you will not be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  If your income is lesser than the average income, you will be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If I file for bankruptcy will my spouse be effected as a result?

Married couples can choose to file a joint bankruptcy petition or to simply have one spouse file a petition for bankruptcy.  If a couple shares a lot of joint debts, it is recommended that the couple chooses to file a joint petition.  On the other hand, if only one spouse is responsible for the majority of the debts, they may benefit from filing on their own.  If you choose not to file a joint petition, the petitioning spouse’s bankruptcy relief should not effect the other spouse.

What are Florida’s property exemption laws?

Florida’s property exemption limits are as follows:

Homestead exemption provides for the protection of real property one half acre in a municipality or 160 acres located elsewhere.  There is no value limit placed upon this property.

  • Motor vehicles up to $1,000
  • Prepaid hurricane savings, medical saving and college savings accounts
  • Any personal property up to $1,000
  • Up to $750 a week in wages
  • Public benefits
  • Certain insurance benefits

 

What do I need to do before I can file for bankruptcy?

Prior to filing for bankruptcy in the state of Florida you will need to enroll in an approved credit counseling course.  You should also consult with a bankruptcy attorney to determine the best course of action in your bankruptcy case.

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