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What does the "wage exemption" cover in Florida regarding Ch 7 if the wages are already in my bank account?

Lakeland, FL |

I have about $3000 in cash and actual personal property, and I am not able to use the wildcard exemption since I really do not want to lose my home. However, that total includes wages that were earned in the past 6 months which are in my bank account. Would that mean I can list all the money I earned in that time as exempt? I am trying to make sense of Fl. Stat. 222.11 but I don't know exactly what it covers.

Attorney Answers 3


Generally, you need to be the head of family to claim the wage exemption in a bankruptcy in Florida. For someone to qualify as head of family, they must provide more than 1/2 of the support for a child or other dependent. Money in a bank account may qualify but it would need to be traceable back to the actual wages. Bankruptcy has become a very complex. You might want to check with lawyers in your area that offer free consultations to see if they can help you.

The comments added are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide or be a substitute for legal advice, or create an attorney client relationship.

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Ms.Dzikowski is right. Remember that the wage exemption only applies to the head of household, and only protects actual wages. If there is anything else in that account, it may be tainted. You may want another perspective on the $k wildcard, particularly if your house is "underwater." You definitely should consider professional advice. Look on this website or on for certified bankruptcy professionals.

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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I agree with my colleagues and Ms. Dzlkowski has laid out the foundation. If you can't trace the money back to your wages you will probably lose it. If all your paychecks go into the bank, but then you add in a $25.00 gift from your mom, then with the $3,000 you can't tell which dollar came from mom and which came from work. Thus you have a tracing problem. Better to open a brand new bank account called "Your Name, Wage Earner Account" and have only your paychecks deposited there. You can save up to 6 months of wages. So, live on the $3,000 in the old bank account and save your future paychecks. Good Luck!

The above information does not establish an attorney-client relationship and is based upon the limited information the questioner provided. Unless you have signed a representation letter and paid a retainer, you are not a client of the firm. You should seek legal advice from an attorney in your area if you want a full legal opinion in this matter.

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