Before filing for bankruptcy, you want to know whether you can keep valuable property—especially your home. If you qualify to use Florida's homestead exemption, you'll be able to protect all of the equity in your house. In this article, we'll explain:
For more information, read How Bankruptcy Works in Florida. Not only does it explain the process, but you'll find helpful checklists and a link to an interactive bankruptcy quiz. Or, for a comprehensive bankruptcy guide, try What You Need to Know to File for Bankruptcy.
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.
The Florida homestead exemption covers real or personal property used as a residence, including your home, condominium, and mobile or modular home. The property must be your residence—not a second home, rental, or vacation property. The homestead exemption can also be claimed by the spouse or children of a deceased owner.
To claim the total value of the homestead exemption in Florida, you must have purchased and owned the property for at least 1,215 days before the bankruptcy filing. If you can't meet this requirement, your homestead exemption is limited by federal law.
Learn more about this requirement, the current amount of the federal cap, and other important exceptions to homestead exemptions.
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.
Updated April 22, 2021