In some cases, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file and the amount of time you have been in your home, the answer could be yes. The important thing is to make sure that your Schedule C is complete and reflects your house as an asset. Filing bankruptcy can be a stressful event, or a relief to feel the pressure of debt being lifted from you.
Either way, there is a lot of paperwork to take care of if a personal bankruptcy is done correctly. Hiring a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney would be a valuable resource to accomplish this endeavor. When you start the bankruptcy process you will need to itemize your 1) current income sources; 2) major financial transactions for the last two years; 3) monthly living expenses; 4) debts (secured and unsecured); and 5) property (all assets and possessions, not just real estate). You should also collect your tax returns for the last two years, deeds to any real estate you own, your car(s) titles, and the documents for any loans you may have.
General steps to filing bankruptcy in Florida.
- Seek out an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you with the process of filing a bankruptcy petition in Florida.
- Identify the courthouse where the petition is to be filed in Clearwater Florida using a zip code to confirm it, and the proper bankruptcy court is Florida Middle Bankruptcy Court.
- You must do the means test to decide if you are eligible for Chapter 7 whereby your debts will be forgiven, or Chapter 13 whereby debts are paid off monthly for a period of up to five years if you fall under the median Florida income for certain family sizes and are not abusing the bankruptcy system. If your income is higher than the state median, you may have to file Chapter 13 because you have some means to pay your debt off.
- Schedule C is one of the more important documents to the petition, and all assets need to be listed on it so that you do not lose them if you file for Chapter 7, even if you are protected under Florida exemption laws.
- Bankruptcy forms that need to be reviewed and evaluated specific to your case petition are available online and it would be prudent to use the services of a skilled bankruptcy lawyer.
Bankruptcy exemptions in Florida.
Florida has more exemptions compared to other states such as unlimited homestead where you will not lose a home of any value when you file a bankruptcy claim, as long as the house is ½ acre in a municipality or less than 160 acres, unlimited protection for pensions, public benefits, such as veterans or social security benefits. Ownership of the property must have been for at least 1,215 days before a petition for bankruptcy is filed.
Hire a lawyer for accurate filing of bankruptcy petition.
There are many accounting intricacies that go along with the completion of the petition for bankruptcy and the fallout from preparing the wrong documents could be detrimental to your financial future, and your residential status. If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy but do not know which Chapter to file, or what attachments will likely go along with the petition, make sure you seek legal services from the Law Offices of Carol A. Lawson.
Carol Lawson Esq.
28870 US Hwy 19 N Suite 300
Clearwater, FL 33761
Phone: (727) 410-2705