Florida Increases Personal Property Exemption

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The FL exemption has been pretty puny. As of July 1 it jumps from $1,000 to $4,000 IF you don't use the Homestead Exemption.

Florida Increases Personal Property Exemption

The Florida legislature passed a law increasing the personal property exemption in bankruptcy. Under Florida Statute 222.25 as written Florida debtors can claim a $1,000 exemption for miscellaneous personal property. Most bankruptcy debtors have applied this exemption to furniture, cloths, cash and other personal property. Effective July 1, 2007, the exemption is increased to $4,000 for those debtors not claiming or benefitting from a homestead exemption. Many Florida debtors not exempting a homestead can use the increased general property exemption to protect equity in automobiles not otherwise protected by the $1,000 exemption specifically allowed for automobiles.

People who could benefit from the increased personal property exemption may want to defer bankruptcy filing until the July 1 effective date. The wording of the statute appears to leave open issues for further court interpretation, such as the meaning of benefits of homestead exemption. For instance, I wonder if a debtor with a homestead owned jointly with a non-debtor spouse qualifies for the $4,000 property exemption if he exempts the residence as tenants by entireties property instead of claiming the exemption under homestead protection. As is the case in all new statutes, judicial clarification will ensue.


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