Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wildcard in Florida Chapter 13: Beware

Bankruptcy in Florida applies the exemptions permitted under state law.  Traditionally, a debtor can only exempt $1,000.00 in personal property.  Florida expanded this amount to $4,000 ($8,000.00 for husband and wife)  if the debtor does not retain the benefit of a homestead.  There has been much litigation on this issue in chapter 7 when a debtor attempts to use the additional exemption, called a wildcard, and yet retain an underwater home on the theory that the trustee could not do anything with the property.   I have discussed this issue in the past as to chapter 7 cases. The point of this post has to do with chapter 13 bankruptcies.  The chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee for Broward and Palm Beach, Robin Weiner, has not objected to the debtor claiming the extra exemption though retaining the home.   The chapter 13 trustee does not liquidate or sell off the assets of the debtor. I…
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Bankruptcy First, Sell Homestead Later

Timing is everything in bankruptcy.  Bad timing cost one Florida debtor his home. The debtor’s homestead in Florida, with some exceptions, is exempt from creditors.  It is well understood under Florida homestead law including in a Florida bankruptcy that a homeowner may sell the home, retain the proceeds(in a separate bank account), and retain the homestead exemption in the proceeds for a reasonable time to purchase another exempt homestead. Carpenter v Scott Brown, 2013 US Dist Lexis 112607 (August 9, 2013) affirmed Judge Ray’s decision denying homestead exemption upon the sale.  But the facts of the case must be reviewed.  The debtor had already signed a contract to sell and the closing was scheduled for just after the filing of the bankruptcy petition.  The debtor did reside at the homestead on the date the bankruptcy petition was filed.  The key fact here is that the debtor was moving to Massachusetts to stay with family….
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Seminar with Lorman Educational Services

On May May 25, 2011, I spoke at a seminar conducted by Lorman Educational Services in Miami, FL. Continue reading

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