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West Palm Beach Bankruptcy & Business Attorneys > > Bankruptcy Attorneys > Tips for Protecting Your Assets in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case

Tips for Protecting Your Assets in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case


Getting ready for a Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy case can feel daunting, and our experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys know how important it is to ensure that you know about and take advantage of all available bankruptcy exemptions so that you can protect as many assets as possible in your case. As you likely know, if you are planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this is a type of liquidation bankruptcy. Accordingly, all of your non-exempts assets will need to be liquidated so that your creditors can be repaid as fully as possible and so that you can receive a bankruptcy discharge and a fresh start financially. Yet we want to be clear that you can protect various assets in a liquidation bankruptcy thanks to state and federal laws.

What do you need to know about effectively protecting your assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case? Consider these tips from our West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys.

Know About Available Exemptions Under Florida Law

To properly protect your assets, it is critical to learn about available exemptions under Florida law. There are many different types of exemptions, so you should speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney about all of your assets to determine which of them may qualify for an existing exemption. Given that there are so many different exemptions listed in the Florida Statutes, we will not list all available exemptions (you can learn about all of them with help from your lawyer), but we will make you aware of some of the most commonly used exemptions. Those include, for example:

  • Homestead exemption, which allows you to exempt all of the equity in your home (among the most generous homestead exemptions in the US);
  • Personal property exemption of up to $1,000 of your choice of property, or up to $4,000 if you do not use the homestead exemption;
  • Up to $1,000 of equity in your motor vehicle;
  • Up to $750 per week of wages, or 75 percent of 30 times the minimum wage (you can exempt whatever is the greater amount based on your wages);
  • Medical savings accounts and Health savings account deposit; and
  • Pensions and retirement accounts.

Understand Laws for Using Exemptions 

Know when and how to use Florida’s exemptions. You can use Florida’s exemptions if you have been living in the state for at least 180 days prior to filing for bankruptcy (otherwise you will need to use the exemptions of your former state of residence).

However, to use the homestead exemption, you will need to have owned your residence in Florida for at least 1,215 days prior to filing for bankruptcy.

Never Attempt to Hide or Gift Assets Prior to Your Bankruptcy Filing 

Never make the mistake of trying to hide or conceal, or gift your assets prior to your bankruptcy filing in order to protect them. This kind of action can amount to bankruptcy fraud and may imperil your entire bankruptcy case.

Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney Today 

Our firm knows how stressful it can be to prepare for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, but we want to emphasize that we are here to assist you every step of the way. We can talk with you today to learn more about your financial circumstances and to provide you with detailed information about the exemptions that you will likely be able to use in order to protect a wide range of your assets. Contact one of the experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyers at Kelley, Fulton, Kaplan & Eller today to find out more about our services and about how we can assist you with your bankruptcy case.




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