With Florida's homestead exemption, you can protect the entire value of your home if you file for bankruptcy, although there are some acreage limits. To learn more about Florida's generous homestead exemption, read on.
For information about how the homestead exemption works in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, see The Homestead Exemption in Bankruptcy. For more articles on exemptions, see our Bankruptcy Exemptions area.
The Florida Homestead Exemption Amount
Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions found in any state. Under the Florida exemption system, homeowners may exempt an unlimited amount of value in their home or other property covered by the homestead exemption. However, the property cannot be larger than half an acre in a municipality or 160 acres elsewhere.
You must have owned your home for a certain period of time in order ot
Doubling for Married Couples
In Florida, a husband and wife filing a joint bankruptcy may double the amount of the homestead exemption. But this benefit is not as important as it is in other states because the Florida homestead exemption is already unlimited.
(To learn more about filing a joint bankruptcy, see Nolo's section on Bankruptcy Options for Married Couples.)
The Scope of the Florida Homestead Exemption
In Florida the homestead exemption applies to real or personal property, including your home, condominium, and mobile or modular home. The property must be your residence. The homestead exemption can also be claimed by the spouse or children of a deceased owner.
In order to claim the full value of the homestead exemption in Florida, you must have buoght and owned the property for at least 1,215 days prior to the bankruptcy filing. If you can't meet this requirement, your homestead exemption is limited by federal law. (To learn more about this requirement, the current amount of the federal cap, and some important exceptions to it, see The Homestead Exemption.)
Can You Use the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in Florida?
Some states allow bankruptcy filers to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions instead of the state exemptions. Florida is not one of those states. If you reside in Florida you must use the state exemptions.
(To learn more about which state exemptions apply to you, see Which Exemptions Can You Use in Bankruptcy?)
Finding the Florida Homestead Exemption Statute
Florida’s homestead exemption is found in the Florida Constitution Article 10 § 4 and the Florida state statutes at Florida Statutes Annotated § 222.01 through § 222.05. To learn how to find state statutes, check out Nolo’s Laws and Legal Research area.