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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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