Exempt Assets: Miami Area Chapter 7 Attorneys

When many people consider bankruptcy, they think of what they might lose. However, before you make the decision to file for bankruptcy it is important to know that there are certain assets that are exempt and cannot be touched in a bankruptcy filing.

Learn About What Property You Can Keep In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

At the DiTocco Law Group, PLLC, we believe in fully educating you so you can feel comfortable about your options and be in the best place to make a sound decision. When you meet with us at any of our locations throughout Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties for a free consultation, our attorneys and staff will help you learn more about which assets are exempt from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, what debts you may be able to discharge and what will happen to assets that are nonexempt. We have offices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and other areas to serve you.

What Assets Are Exempt?

One of the most important exemptions allowed under the Florida Constitution is the homestead exemption. If you declare your primary residence as your homestead, it is 100 percent exempt from creditors. This means whether you are upside-down on your mortgage or not, if you declare your primary residence your homestead, it is most often completed protected. We can help you make this decision whether to protect your home as well as how to deal with a deficient mortgage.

Other exempt assets include:

  • Retirement and pension plans: 401(k)s, IRAs, annuities, cash value of life insurance policies.
  • Public benefits you are entitled to now and in the future: Social Security, veteran benefits, workers' compensation and Medicare.
  • Vehicle equity: Up to $1,000 of vehicle equity above and beyond the loan on the vehicle. Leased vehicles are also generally exempt.
  • Personal property: If you declare the homestead exemption, you can exempt $1,000 worth of personal property such as cash, jewelry, etc. and not have it subject to review by the trustee. If you do not use the homestead exemption, you can exempt $5,000 worth of personal property.

All of these exemptions are available for an individual. If you are married, these exemption amounts double. Our thorough Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy lawyers can help you determine what assets are exempt and how to document this appropriately so they are protected during a bankruptcy petition and potential liquidation.

What Happens To Nonexempt Assets?

Many of our clients have assets that exceed the exemption amounts. In those cases, the trustees may want the cash equivalent value of these assets in order to pay your creditors. Our bankruptcy lawyers will negotiate these nonexempt assets with the trustee assigned to your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. You will then have a window of time to pay this negotiated amount to the trustee so he or she can pay your creditors. This will usually allow you to retain the assets and discharge your debts for pennies on the dollar.

Contact Miami Area Chapter 7 Lawyers

Contact DiTocco Law Group, PLLC, online or call 954-566-9000 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss what assets are exempt and how to discharge debt on nonexempt assets today. We have satellite offices located throughout Miami-Dade (Coral Gables and Aventura), Broward (Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Miramar) and Palm Beach (Boca Raton, West Palm Beach) counties, so you can take comfort in knowing that there is a DiTocco Law Group, PLLC, office near you. Translation services are available for our Spanish-speaking clients. Se habla español.