Hi, I’m Robert Geller. I am a consumer bankruptcy attorney in the Tampa Bay area. I wanted to answer some questions about whether you will lose your home if you file for bankruptcy.
I can say that with very, very limited exceptions that you do get to keep your home in Florida when you file for bankruptcy.
Florida offers people filing for bankruptcy a homestead exemption. This means your home is exempt when you file, which means the bankruptcy court or the bankruptcy trustee cannot take your home. They can’t take it to sell your creditors no matter what it worth. With the homestead exemption, you get to protect it and you get to keep it. This doesn’t mean you can stop making payments on your mortgage and there are instances in which you could still face foreclosure, but the court cannot seize your home and make it a part of the bankruptcy estate.
The other good news about your home and bankruptcy is that if you’re behind on your mortgage payments, filing for bankruptcy might even be a good thing for you. Filing chapter 13 can help you catch up on your mortgage payments or get them a mortgage modification.
Florida is very generous with the homestead exemption (some other states limit the exemption amount and if your home is worth more than a certain amount you could lose it). But in Florida, it doesn’t matter what it’s worth – it’s part of the homestead exemption and you might qualify for mortgage modification.
I’m attorney Robert Geller and I want to help you build a bridge to a brighter future.