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Video: What are exempt assets?

Once you file a bankruptcy petition with the court, theoretically, everything you own becomes property of a bankruptcy estate. The law has created this notion of exemptions. These are assets that you would get to pull out of the bankruptcy, free and clear of the bankruptcy, in order to help you get a fresh start from your creditors. Florida requires that you use Florida law in looking at what type of assets are protected or are otherwise exempt. Florida has one of the strongest homestead exemptions in the country. Your home would generally be protected from most type of creditors. You also have a $1,000 personal property exemption that would include money in the bank, the clothes on your back, and your furniture. You also have a $1,000 automobile exemption and that is speaking to the equity in the automobile. If your automobile is leased, there's no equity in a lease, so you generally would be able to keep the car as long as you make payments under the lease. Finally, if you don't own a home and you're not taking advantage of the homestead, we have in Florida what's called a wildcard exemption, which is $4,000 which you get to tack on to your $1,000 personal property, or your $1,000 automobile exemption.