I routinely get new clients who just moved to Florida, permanent relocation, and they are looking to file for bankruptcy to obtain a fresh start.  Their first question is what state do I file my bankruptcy in and that answer depends on how long they have lived in Florida.  Once in a while a debtor asks if they can file in a state they don’t reside in so as to keep their bankruptcy private, but that is not allowed.

Living in Florida more than 90 days.
If a debtor that has recently moved to Florida wants to file for bankruptcy in Florida they must wait 91 days before they can file.  During that 90 day period the debtor should go about getting a Florida drivers license, changing their voter registration card,  changing their vehicle insurance, etc., in order to show that they truly intend to stay in Florida.  Once a debtor has met the 91 day rule they are eligible to file for bankruptcy in Florida.

Applicable Exemptions
Just because a debtor can file in Florida, doesn’t mean that the debtor is eligible to use Florida exemptions (law) to protect his or her assets.  Debtors who recently moved to Florida are not eligible to use Florida exemptions rather they are required to use the exemptions of the state that they lived in two and a half years ago.   An experienced Miami Bankruptcy Lawyer can assist you in determining which bankruptcy exemptions apply to your case.   Debtors who have resided in Florida for more than two and a half years are required to use Florida exemptions.

If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy in South Florida and would like to speak with an experienced Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney then please contact Shmucher Law, PL and attorney Ofer Shmucher.  We offer free consultations seven days a week and can be reached at 954-309-5559 or 305-741-5553.


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