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What property can you keep in bankruptcy?

When you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you probably have a lot of questions on your mind, not the least of which is “what can I keep when I file for bankruptcy?” or “can I keep anything at all?” The answer depends upon which type of bankruptcy you choose to file.

If you have lived in Florida, including the Tampa area, for at least two years prior to filing for bankruptcy, then you should qualify for the state’s exemptions, which typically include your home, $1,000 each of your personal property and of equity in your vehicle, and any retirement accounts and/or IRAs you have. Meanwhile, you can also claim an extra $4,000 in personal property if you don’t own a home. It’s also important to note that these amounts are per person and not per household.

However, according to Florida Bankruptcy Law, depending on which type of bankruptcy you file, the exemptions can be applied differently. If you choose Chapter 7 then most of the time all of your personal property is exempt. However, it will not be exempt if the value of your property exceeds the allowed exemptions.

By choosing Chapter7 you will have to turn over your nonexempt property to a trustee who will sell it and use the money to pay your creditors. Meantime, if you choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy then you can also keep your nonexempt property. That means you can keep all your personal property, like your car and everything else you own.

If you feel that bankruptcy might be an option for you then you need to consider how much of your property you want to keep before you make your decision on which type you file. Ultimately, bankruptcy can help you overcome your financial struggles and help you get out of debt, while still allowing you to keep at least some of your personal property.

While this information might be helpful it is not intended as legal advice.

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  • "When I first came to the decision to file for bankruptcy, I had no idea where to start. I began researching attorneys on the internet and came across the information for Tim Sierra. Since he specialized in bankruptcy and had a lot of experience......"
  • The process of going through bankruptcy could be very overwhelming but Tim made me feel at ease and I felt that my needs were being taken care of. I truly feel that he had my best interests in mind and the lines of communication were always open....
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  • "I'm very happy to have been referred to Tim for my Chapter 7 filing. He was knowledgeable in his field and very responsive in replying to any questions or concerns I had. Tim was also very accommodating with meeting times..."
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