In a no-asset Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the person filing for bankruptcy keeps all of their property because it falls within the exemptions provided under federal law or the law in their state.
With a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, a filer surrenders their assets to the bankruptcy estate, which uses them to pay off creditors. But in reality, this is only true of non-exempt property. Many of our cases, are in fact, ‘no asset’ cases. Bankruptcy law recognizes that filers need to retain some property so they can survive the process with something on which to build a future after bankruptcy.
Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions can be used to protect essential assets. Some of these exemptions, apply to a specific asset, such as a home or a car. Other exemptions are known as ‘wildcard exemptions’ and can be applied to any type of personal property that has a certain value.
There are occasions where the bankruptcy trustee will choose to abandon certain non-exempt property. For instance, if the filer has a vehicle with a loan on it that is almost as much as the car’s worth, the trustee may not see it as worthwhile to liquidate the asset and may choose to abandon it instead. In this situation, even though technically the filer has property to sell, the case may still be declared a “no asset” case.
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.
If you have 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.