Can you surrender and retain homestead?

In Re Gentry, 2011 Bankr. Lexis 4283(Bankr. M. D. FL Nov 15, 2011), Judge Delano held that the debtor could claim on the Statement of Intentions that he was surrendering the property and still claim the home as exempt. The debtor wanted to retain the home until the bank finished the foreclosure. The chapter 7 trustee wanted to sell the property based on the Statement of Intention.

The court held that the Statement of Intention pertains only as to the secured creditor, not to the trustee. The trustee could not sell the property despite the surrender language in the Statement of Intentions. The case is under appeal by the trustee.

The issue of how to handle a debtor’s Florida homestead in bankruptcy remains as an important issue for any Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy lawyer.

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