September 28, 2023


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Bankruptcy Court Draws Distinction Between Florida Homestead Exemptions

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The United States Personal bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, in In re Jacques Scott, an April 12, 2022 Buy, overruled a personal bankruptcy trustee’s objection to a debtor’s claimed exemptions under Florida homestead law, and clarified the distinction among out there exemptions about homestead.

Florida Homestead Exemptions and Bankruptcy

The Debtor in this circumstance claimed his Eco-friendly Boat Trailer cell residence as exempt from property of his individual bankruptcy estate under federal individual bankruptcy law and Fla. Stat. § 222.05.  The Debtor also claimed an exemption beneath federal regulation and Fla. Stat. § 222.25(4).

The bankruptcy trustee objected to the claimed exemptions, arguing that a debtor may perhaps not claim the $4,000 personal residence exemption supplied by Fla. Stat. § 222.25(4) if the debtor has also claimed a Florida homestead exemption.

No $4,000 Exemption In Personal bankruptcy If Homestead Exemption Claimed Under Segment 4, Posting X Of the Florida Constitution

The Personal bankruptcy Court docket intently examined the language of section 222.25(4) and decided that the statute only prohibits a debtor from claiming the $4,000 exemption if the debtor claims or gets the rewards of a homestead exemption beneath section 4, posting X of the Florida Structure.

Section 222.25(4) states:

The next residence is exempt from attachment, garnishment, or other authorized system … (4) A debtor’s curiosity in private residence, not to exceed $4,000, if the debtor does not assert or acquire the added benefits of a homestead exemption under s. 4, Art. X of the Condition Constitution. This exemption does not apply to a financial debt owed for baby guidance or spousal guidance.

Right here, the debtor did not claim a homestead exemption below section 4, Report X of the Florida Structure.  Fairly, he claimed a statutory exemption in his cell household under Fla. Stat. 222.05, which states:

Any person proudly owning and occupying any dwelling dwelling, like a cellular property utilised as a residence, or modular house, on land not his or her individual which he or she could lawfully have, by lease or if not, and saying these types of house, cell house, or modular house as his or her homestead, shall be entitled to the exemption of this kind of household, cellular house, or modular property from levy and sale as aforesaid.

Is The Statutory Homestead Exemption For a Cellular Dwelling the Exact As the Homestead Exemption Beneath Segment 4, Short article X of the Florida Constitution?

No, the two homestead exemptions are different – a single applies to land or real assets owned by a debtor, even though the other applies to folks who do not individual the land upon which their cell home is positioned.

The U.S. Personal bankruptcy Court docket quoted decisions from the Center and Northern District Of Florida in drawing the distinction in between the two homestead exemptions:

[T]he homestead exemption presented by Post X, Area 4(a)(1) of the Florida Structure applies to improved land or real assets owned by a debtor, offered the debtor’s home is located on the land. Portion 222.05 of the Florida Statutes, on the other hand, expressly applies to people who do not very own the land upon which their cell house is positioned.

For the reason that the homestead exemption for a cellular property and the homestead exemption below section 4, posting X of the Florida Constitution are distinct, a homestead exemption under area 222.05 is not a “homestead exemption underneath s. 4, Art. X of the Condition Constitution” that would disqualify the debtor from claiming the $4,000 particular home exemption furnished by section 222.25(4).

The Courtroom overruled the bankruptcy trustee’s objection to the debtor’s claimed exemptions primarily based on Florida homestead.  Homestead has been referred to as Florida’s authorized chameleon and can usually be hotly debated in Florida courts.  Study the Complete Guideline to Florida Homestead to learn extra, or contact a Florida probate lawyer.


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