For years now, you have worked hard to be financially independent and provide a comfortable life for your family. Financial difficulties due to job loss or expensive medical treatments can threaten to take that all away.
Consumer bankruptcy is an option for dealing with overwhelming debt, but many Miami residents have the idea that bankruptcy takes away everything you own — your home, car, money in the bank, even personal possessions like jewelry. The truth is, it’s a myth that filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy means you could end up penniless or living on the street.
What Florida bankruptcy law lets you keep
Consumer bankruptcy is not designed to leave people in worse financial shape than they would have been had they never filed. Its purpose is to help Americans get out of unaffordable debt so they can rebuild their financial strength. For that reason, Florida’s bankruptcy laws exempt several critical assets from creditors’ grasps, potentially including:
- Equity in your primary residence thanks to the homestead exemption
- Equity in your motor vehicle
- Your retirement savings
- Your wages as head of the household, up to $750 per week
- Veterans’ disability and workers’ compensation benefits
- Up to $1,000 worth of personal property, or $4,000 if you don’t use the homestead exemption
Many Miamians who go through bankruptcy keep their homes and cars. Others might choose to sell as part of their financial strategy but get to keep much of the proceeds.
Help charting your debt relief course
What happens in your bankruptcy proceeding depends on factors like the type and size of your debts, your household income and what you need out of the process. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can answer your questions and hopefully ease any anxieties about what to expect. Then you can decide the best way to proceed.