Can I Move Out Of Florida Or Into Florida After I File For Bankruptcy?
Are you thinking about moving but also considering the possibility of filing for bankruptcy? Or have you already filed for bankruptcy and you want to move to a new state? Whether you are considering a move that would take you into Florida or out of Florida, it is critical to understand what the implications of moving are in a bankruptcy case, and why residency for a specific amount of time is necessary in order to qualify for certain bankruptcy exemptions. If you are considering a move to Florida in order to take advantage or certain generous exemptions like the homestead exemption, or you are thinking about moving out of Florida to another state where there are more substantial state exemptions or where you may be permitted to use federal instead of state exemptions, it is particularly important to work with a lawyer to understand your options and their implications. The following information can explain, in general terms, how moves impact bankruptcy cases.
Bankruptcy Exemptions Are Tied to Your State Residency
The major issue concerning a move to another state and a bankruptcy case is the issue of bankruptcy exemptions. In short, bankruptcy exemptions are tied to your state of residence. The state where you are a resident is the state whose rules you will be required to follow concerning bankruptcy exemptions. Yet it is more complicated than that — you will need to think about how long you have been a resident of a state and what kind of residency requirements are necessary to use a state’s bankruptcy exemptions.
On a related note, you do not need to worry too much about moving to a new city within the state (although you should discuss this with your bankruptcy attorney since it could impact certain aspects of your case). For example, moving from West Palm Beach to Jupiter will not change your eligibility for Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions.
Where Have You Lived for the Last 180 Days and for the Last 730 Days?
In general, the bankruptcy court that will hear your case is the one in the place where you have been living for the last 180 days (or the majority of those last six months prior to filing). However, simply having residency in a state for the last six months is not enough to qualify for the state’s bankruptcy exemptions. In order to be eligible to use a state’s bankruptcy exemptions (including Florida’s), you will usually need to have lived in the state for at least 730 days prior to filing for bankruptcy.
If you move to Florida and live here for about six months, you will likely be able to file for bankruptcy in Florida. However, you will not qualify for Florida’s bankruptcy exemptions. Instead, you will need to use the exemptions of the state where you lived previously.
Contact Our Bankruptcy Attorneys in West Palm Beach
Do you have any questions about moving and bankruptcy? Whether you have concerns about moving out of South Florida after you have already filed for bankruptcy, or you have questions about moving to South Florida with plans to file for bankruptcy soon or following a recent bankruptcy filing in another state, you will want to seek advice from a lawyer who can help. An experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorney at Kelley Kaplan & Eller can discuss your situation with you today and can provide you with more information about consumer bankruptcy.