Will A Bankruptcy Filing Require Me To Give Up My Home Office Equipment?
Many people in South Florida work from home, or they work from home at least part of the time on a hybrid work schedule. As such, many Floridians and residents of West Palm Beach have home offices that contain office furniture, electronics, tools, and books they need for work. If you file for bankruptcy, will you need to give up these assets? The answer will depend on a number of factors.
You Will Not Need to Give Up Any Property in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
You might assume that all types of consumer bankruptcy involve the liquidation of assets, but this is not the case. Only Chapter 7 cases involve liquidation. Accordingly, if you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or even Chapter 11 bankruptcy, none of your home office equipment or other assets will be liquidated. You can keep everything in the bankruptcy case.
Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions for Exempting Home Office Equipment
Some states have bankruptcy exemptions that are known as exemptions for “tools of the trade,” or for books and equipment you need to do your work. Unfortunately for debtors in Florida, there is not a specific “tools of the trade” bankruptcy exemption or something similar. Instead, debtors in Florida who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will need to rely on other exemptions to prevent having home office equipment liquidated.
We want to emphasize that you will only need to consider exemptions for your home office equipment for the purpose of preventing liquidation if you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To be clear, assets — including home office equipment, electronics, furniture, and other assets — will not be liquidated in a reorganization bankruptcy case under Chapter 13 or Chapter 11, for example.
What exemptions could apply to allow you to exempt home office equipment or supplies or tools? If you are not using Florida’s homestead exemption in your bankruptcy case, you will be able to use a personal property exemption of up to $4,000. That exemption allows you to exempt up to $4,000 of assets of your choosing. If you are planning to use the homestead exemption, you will have a personal property exemption of $1,000. If the personal property exemption will not be sufficient to exempt your home office equipment or tools, you should speak with a bankruptcy lawyer about other possible exemptions that could apply to your case.
Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Lawyer
Do you do a significant amount of work from home, and are you considering the possibility of filing for bankruptcy? Assuming that you own your own home office equipment, you may be concerned that you will lose the equipment if you need to file for bankruptcy. Whether or not any of your assets will be liquidated will depend upon the type of bankruptcy case you are filing. Even if you are filing for a liquidation bankruptcy, your office furniture and equipment could be exempt under Florida law. One of the experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyers at Kelley, Fulton, Kaplan & Eller can evaluate your circumstances and can provide you with more information today about exempting your home office equipment, if necessary, in a bankruptcy case.