In a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you can keep all the property which is exempt from the claims of creditors. In determining whether property is exempt, you must keep a few things in mind. The value of property is not the amount you paid for it, but what it is worth now. Generally the trustee is interested in the resale value of your property so for most personal effects this is the resell value of your property. In Florida there is a homestead exemption for your residence (Up to a value of $).
You also only need to look at your equity in property. This means that you count your exemptions against the full value minus any money that you owe on mortgages or liens. For example, if you own a $50,000 house with a $40,000 mortgage, you count your exemptions against the $10,000 equity you have in the home. While your exemptions allow you to keep property even in a chapter 7 case, your exemptions do not make any difference to the right of a mortgage holder or car loan creditor to take the property to cover the debt if you are behind. If you are behind on secured debt payments you should consider a chapter 13 bankruptcy. This will allow you to keep your property and give you 3 to 5 years to get caught up on your payments in arrears.
In a chapter 13 case, you can keep all of your property if your plan meets the requirements of the bankruptcy law. A loan modification is possible in a chapter13 but in most cases you will need to make your current payment along with the portion of the payments in arrears.
To learn more about your bankruptcy options contact The Law offices of Jill McDonald. We have two convenient locations in Clearwater and in St. Petersburg. (727) 231-4300
Bankruptcy Information is believed reliable, but accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Nothing in this web site is intended as, or should be used as, a substitute for professional, financial, or legal advice.