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Delray Beach, FL |

My wife and I just bought an home in Florida in May of 2012. Unfortunately I may be looking at a personal bankruptcy situation. The home is in both of our names and is mortgage free. I will be the only one filing as my wife is not party to the debt. I am reading that I have not lived in Florida long enough to get the home exemption and therefor must follow the rules of the state I moved from which is NJ. Is this true and is there any pro ration or anything I can use since I actually reside in Florida. I cannot do a chapter 13, debt over the limit. Chapter 7 I lose the house to the IRS cause they have priority. So we may do an 11. I can pay the debt off over many years. I understand all the pitfalls and of course will consult with an attorney. I am most concerned with how to save the prop

Attorney Answers 4


Your understanding of bankruptcy exemption analysis may be correct as far as it goes, but it is incomplete. Much too much is at stake here to rely on a public forum like Avvo on this issue. Consult local experienced bankruptcy counsel before any more time passes. Ask counsel to research whether NJ exemptions apply extraterritorially. If not, you may be dealing with the federal exemption scheme. With a house at stake, you cannot afford inaccuracy on this issue.

Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

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Interesting question. While your situation may be substantially different from my previous clients, I can send you a ruling by Chief Bankruptcy Judge Hyman in which my client prevailed in a similar situation because the non-debtor spouse held an interest in the homestead as tenants-by-entireties. My email address is I have a rather busy week but may be able to dig out the case by Wednesday or so. Send me an email reminding me of this question and I shall try to get that ruling to you.

Posting questions anonymously and receiving general answers do not substitute for consulting with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in which you live. Answers posted here by Kevin C Gleason are only intended for general education of the public on legal matters. Please consult a qualified professional before deciding what to do about your situation.

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The general idea you have portrayed is correct, however bankruptcy law is extremely fact oriented and the issues with the IRS raise some other concerns that may not totally be addressed. This is something that must be analyzed in depth with a bankruptcy attorney before proceeding. If saving the property is the number one concern, then meet with a bankruptcy attorney, such as myself, in order to find out the best route.

Singh Law, P.A.
Ft. Lauderdale - Miami - West Palm Beach
Free Consultations Available
(954) 586-6000

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.

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There are several issues that should be explored fully with an attorney. Has IRS filed a notice of lien? What was the source of the funds to buy the home? Tenancy by the entireties can help you, but not as to IRS.

The questions and answers posted on AVVO are for general information and should not be treated as legal advice or establishing an attorney-client relationship.

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