Posts Tagged: ‘Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions’

Clarifying Contested Foreclosures After Bankruptcy – Florida Governor Rick Scott Signs off on New Law

April 9, 2018 Posted by kingcade

When going through the bankruptcy process, filers must declare their intentions toward any property securing their debt, which can include their home. This can involve surrendering the property to the lender or retaining it and making payments to reduce the debt.  If you agree to surrender the property in order to clear the mortgage debt, can you contest the foreclosure to try and delay the process while remaining in the home?

Senate Bill 220, a new law addressing the property rights of defendants pertaining to bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings, recently signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott says no. The bill is consistent with the ruling in the Florida Middle District Case In re Metzler, a 2015 case that ruled debtors cannot raise defenses once a subject property has been surrendered in bankruptcy. However, the law does allow defenses to be made based on the conduct of the lender after surrendering the property.

Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions in the country. To use Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions, you must have resided in Florida for at least 730 days before filing your bankruptcy petition. To claim the full value of the homestead exemption in Florida, you must have owned the property for at least 1,215 days before the bankruptcy filing.

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Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Divorce & Bankruptcy – How They Are Connected

April 5, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Medical bills, job loss and divorce are some of the main reasons people file for bankruptcy today.  Financial problems can sometimes lead to divorce and as a result it is not uncommon for couples to decide to file bankruptcy right after they get divorced.  Here are some things to consider.

Whether or not you decide to file for bankruptcy before or after your divorce depends on the following:

  • Which type of bankruptcy you file– If you file together, both of your incomes are used to qualify you for a Chapter 7, which may make you ineligible for this type of bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will help you determine which type of bankruptcy to file, a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
  • State exemption laws– All property you own is declared either exempt or non-exempt during a bankruptcy.  Exempt property may be kept after the bankruptcy case has concluded. Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions in the country.  Here are some of the most common bankruptcy exemptions in Florida.
  • State laws concerning division of property during a divorce could be at odds with what property is exempt in a bankruptcy.  The items you fought to keep after your marriage comes to an end could be in jeopardy, again in subsequent bankruptcy proceedings.
  • The cost for filing a joint bankruptcy is the same as filing an individual one.  This means you can save hundreds of dollars by filing together.
  • Work together if possible. Filing bankruptcy jointly implies that you can work together, something that may be difficult to do, but worth it in the end.

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If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

The Dangers of Filing Bankruptcy Pro Se

March 6, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Filing for bankruptcy “pro se” means that an individual represents himself or herself in the bankruptcy process.  It is a risky decision and there are a number of pitfalls associated with the same.  Filing for bankruptcy has a complex set of rules, forms, statutes and judicial decisions.  Some people choose to represent themselves because they think they cannot afford to hire a bankruptcy attorney or they may think they have a simple case.  Whatever the reasoning, it is not a wise decision.

Here are some of the most common problems with filing for bankruptcy pro se (without an attorney):

Filing the wrong type of bankruptcy– Each type of bankruptcy is designed to solve specific problems.  Property is treated very differently when it comes to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.  If you file the wrong Chapter bankruptcy, you run the risk of losing valuable property or end up not being able to discharge certain debts.

Losing property you should have been able to keep– Filing for personal bankruptcy allows you to claim “exemptions,” which can save your home, even your business.  If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, you can use Florida bankruptcy exemptions to protect your property.  Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions in the country. To use Florida’s exemptions, you must have resided in Florida for at least 730 days before filing your bankruptcy petition. Here are the most common Florida bankruptcy exemptions.

Not properly filling out the bankruptcy forms– When filing for bankruptcy, you will have to fill out much more than a standard bankruptcy petition.  You will be expected to submit dozens of supporting documentation, listing every single debt, all of your creditors and all of your assets.  If you make a mistake or miss something, costly delays can result.  Not to mention, you run the risk of your case being completely dismissed and rejected all together.

Continued creditor harassment– When you hire an attorney to file your bankruptcy, creditors are required by law to only speak with your attorney and may no longer harass you about your debt.  If you choose to represent yourself in bankruptcy, the lender may try and lift the automatic stay, which is what protects your from continued creditor calls while your bankruptcy is ongoing.   A consumer has specific rights when a creditor violates the automatic stay.

Failing to take required education courses– In Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers must take approved credit counseling courses before filing for bankruptcy, and complete a financial management course before receiving their bankruptcy discharge. Many pro se filers get confused about these requirements and if they fail to file the proper certificate, their entire case can be dismissed.

Failure to understand the above concepts will be problematic if a creditor challenges the dischargeability of a debt or if the bankruptcy trustee alleges you have committed fraud—or anything else that could crop up during the case. When you find yourself on the receiving end of a complaint or motion, an attorney is essential to your success.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/pitfalls-filing-chapter-7-bankruptcy-without-attorney.html

What Happens to Your Home When Filing for Bankruptcy?

February 28, 2018 Posted by kingcade

When a person files for bankruptcy, a common concern is whether he or she will be able to keep their home. If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, you can use Florida bankruptcy exemptions to protect your property. Residents are provided unlimited exemptions for homestead, annuities, and the cash surrender value of a life insurance policy.

Whether or not a person who is filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7 can keep their home depends on how much equity they have in the home, as well as what state he or she is filing in. Every state has a different homestead exemption level, which sets the amount of home equity an individual may exempt from the assets being sold to satisfy creditors under Chapter 7. As long as the equity in the home is less than the amount allowed by state law in his or her state, the person filing for bankruptcy may keep their home.

Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions in the country. To use Florida’s exemptions, you must have resided in Florida for at least 730 days before filing your bankruptcy petition. To claim the full value of the homestead exemption in Florida, you must have owned the property for at least 1,215 days before the bankruptcy filing.  Here are some of the most common Florida bankruptcy exemptions.

If you have any questions on the topic of bankruptcy exemptions or are in a financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://info.legalzoom.com/happens-home-one-files-bankruptcy-24028.html

 

 

 

The Most Common Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions

January 12, 2018 Posted by kingcade

If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida, you can use Florida bankruptcy exemptions to protect your property.  In addition, residents are provided unlimited exemptions for homestead, annuities, and the cash surrender value of a life insurance policy.

Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions in the country. To use Florida’s exemptions, you must have resided in Florida for at least 730 days before filing your bankruptcy petition. To claim the full value of the homestead exemption in Florida, you must have owned the property for at least 1,215 days before the bankruptcy filing.

Personal Property Exemptions:  

  • Personal property up to $1,000. Personal property can include such items as furniture, art, and electronics. (Art. 10 Sec. 4, Fl. Constitution)
  • Education savings, health savings, and hurricane savings. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 222.22)
  • Prescribed health aids. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 222.25)
  • Prepaid medical savings account and health savings account deposits (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 222.22(2))
  • Tax credits and refunds (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 222.25(3))
  • Funeral costs per Florida’s Preneed Funeral Contract Consumer Protection Trust Fund (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 497.456)
  • Particular partnership property (Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 620.153, 620.8307)

Florida Motor Vehicle Exemption:

  • Bankruptcy filers can exempt up to $1,000 in motor vehicle equity, more if you are married and filing jointly.

Exemptions for Wages in Florida:

  • Wages of a head of the family are entirely exempt up to $750 per week, or the greater of 75% or 30 times the federal minimum wage.

Pensions and retirement funds are exempt in Florida:

  • 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) are fully exempt. (11 U.S.C. Section 522; Fla. Stat. Ann. § 222.21.)
  • IRA’s and Roth IRA’s are exempt up to $1,171,650. (11 U.S.C. Section 522(b)(3)(C)(n).)
  • Public employee retirement benefits. (Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 121.131, 121.055(6)(e).)
  • State and County officers and employees retirement system benefits. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 122.15.)
  • Firefighter pensions. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 175.241.)
  • Municipal police pensions. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 185.25.)
  • Teachers’ retirement benefits. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 238.15.)

Alimony and Child Support Exemptions:

Alimony and child support, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor (the bankruptcy filer) and any dependent of the Debtor, are exempt. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 222.201.)

Exemptions for Insurance Policies and Annuities:

  • The proceeds of a life insurance policy payable to a specific beneficiary are fully exempt. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 222.13.)
  • The cash surrender value of a life insurance policy and the proceeds of an annuity contract are fully exempt. However, annuity proceeds resulting from lottery winnings are not exempt. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 222.14.)
  • Disability income benefits are exempt. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 222.18.)
  • Fraternal benefit society benefits are exempt. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 632.619.)

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on the topic of bankruptcy exemptions or are in a financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.