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Florida Bankruptcy Laws

Key Points

Florida implements residency requirements for the bankruptcy applicants. Individuals must be domiciled in Florida for a minimum of 730 days prior to the bankruptcy filing.

The state of Florida doesn’t allow individuals to follow the federal bankruptcy exemptions.

Homestead

Florida allows unlimited homestead exemption for real or personal properties, including home etc. The property however will need to be within half an acre in a municipality or 160 acres elsewhere. Married couples filing joint bankruptcy can double the allowed exemption for land area.

To prevent the misuse of the lenient law, the Bankruptcy Abuse and Prevention Act of 2005 imposes restriction, stating that the home has to be bought more than 1215 days prior to filing - Otherwise, the exemption is limited to $146,450.

Motor Vehicle

$1,000 of equity in a single car or other vehicle is allowed. The amount doubles for couples filing joint bankruptcy.

Wages

Head of a family are allowed exemption of up to $750 per week. It takes into account the paid and unpaid wages and wages deposited into a bank for up to six months prior to the bankruptcy filing. The Consumer Credit Protection Act protects income of the rest of the family members.

Personal Property and Wildcard

The maximum exemption allowed for personal property is $1,000 which doubles for the married couples filing joint bankruptcy. Personal properties include furniture, arts and electronics.

A debtor may claim up to $4,000 of personal property exemption if he or she doesn’t use the homestead exemption.

Absolute or total exemption

  1. Prescribed health aids
  2. ERISA qualified retirement plans and pensions (including 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, profit sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRA’s, and other defined benefit plans)
  3. Firefighter and municipal police pensions
  4. Teachers’ and Public service employees’ retirement benefits
  5. Life insurance proceeds for the beneficiary
  6. Cash surrender value of life insurance and proceeds from annuity contract
  7. Workers’ compensation benefits
  8. Unemployment benefits
  9. Disability income benefits
  10. Hazardous occupational damages
  11. Fraternal and society benefits
  12. Alimony and child support (reasonable amount)

Northern District of Florida

Gainesville

Street Address
United States Courthouse
401 SE First Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32601

Contact Number:
866-639-4615 (Toll Free)

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding Federal Holidays)

Panama City

Street Address
United States Courthouse
30 W. Government St.
Panama City, Florida 32401

Contact Number:
866-639-4615 (Toll Free)

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding Federal Holidays)

Pensacola

Street Address
Winston E. Arnow Federal Building
100 North Palafox Street, Room 154
Pensacola, FL 32502

Contact Number:
866-639-4615 (Toll Free)

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding Federal Holidays)

Tallahassee (Main Office)

Street Address
United States Bankruptcy Courthouse
110 East Park Avenue, Suite 100
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

Contact Number:
850-521-5001
866-639-4615 (Toll free)

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding Federal Holidays)

Middle District of Florida

Jacksonville

Street Address
Bryan Simpson United States Courthouse
300 North Hogan Street, Room 3-350
Jacksonville, FL 32202-4204

Contact Number:
904-301-6490

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m. To 4:00 p.m.

Orlando (Main Office)

Street Address
George C. Young United States Courthouse
400 West Washington Street
Suite 5100
Orlando, FL 32801

Contact Number:
407-237-8000

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Tampa

Street Address
Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse
801 North Florida Avenue, Suite 555
Tampa, FL 33602

Contact Number:
813-301-5046

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Fort Myers

Street Address
United States Courthouse and Federal Building
2110 First Street, Room 400
Fort Myers, Florida 33901

Contact Number:
239-461-2110

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Southern District of Florida

Fort Lauderdale

Street Address
United States Courthouse
299 East Broward Boulevard,
Room 112
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Contact Number:
954-769-5700

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Miami (Main Office)

Street Address
Claude Pepper Federal Building
51 Southwest First Avenue, Room 1401
Miami, FL 33130

Contact Number:
305-714-1800

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (except Federal Holidays)

West Palm Beach

Street Address
Flagler Waterview Building
1515 North Flagler Drive, 8th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Contact Number:
561-514-4100

Working Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (except Federal Holidays)

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