There are a lot of terms that arise when you’re considering bankruptcy. It’s important to understand what each thing means and whether or not it applies to you. This is especially true when it comes to exemptions because exemptions are used to protect your property and prevent them from being confiscated.
The so-called wild card exemption is a good example of this. Wild card exemptions are most commonly used in Chapter 7 bankruptcies, which liquidates assets and uses the proceeds to pay creditors.
How is the Wild Card Exemption Used to Help Bankruptcy Filers?
Bankruptcy filers can use the wild card exemption to help you protect assets that would otherwise be taken and liquidated. In some rare cases, the state does not allow a filer to use the wild card exemption, but most permit wild card exemptions at either the state or federal level.
The wild card exemption is different than the standard exemption because it doesn’t apply to a specific type of asset that is already listed by the law. It can be used to protect any type of asset as long as the state allows it. The term “wild card” means it’s flexible and can apply how you need it to apply. This is the case when it comes to assets and bankruptcy.
There are some limitations to the wild card exemption.
For instance, the federal wild card exemption is limited to a value of $1225 plus any unused portion of the federal homestead exemption up to $12,250 for a single filer. The amount is double when bankruptcy is being filed by a married couple. State exemptions vary from state to state.
In Florida, the bankruptcy wildcard exemption is $4000 for an individual filer. This means a debtor can claim up to $4,000 of personal property if he or she does not take advantage of the homestead exemption. For joint debtors in the state of Florida, the wildcard exemption is $8,000.
To learn more about exemption laws and the homestead exemption in Florida, check out this information.
How Does the Wild Card Exemption Work?
The wild card exemption makes it possible to protect any asset you own, even if it’s not a standard asset listed in the bankruptcy law. There are specific types of exemptions Chapter 7 filers can use, but the wild card can be used to cover what you need that isn’t already covered. It can be used on any asset and combined with other exemptions if that’s in your best interest.
Like many aspects of bankruptcy law, the wild card exemption can be complicated. Whether or not and how it will benefit a filer varies from case to case. It’s important to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to ensure you understand the law and apply it accordingly.
If you’d like more information or you want to know if the wild card exemption could benefit your case, we can help. Contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to learn more or to schedule a consultation.