I Think We Lost Our Florida Homestead Protection on Our House for Bankruptcy. – Mayra


“Dear Steve,

Husband took a job out of state, we had to get drivers license changed to new state in order for son who goes to college in another state could stay under our auto insurance.This establishes residency in new state. This has resulted in losing our homestead on our home in our home state(Fl).

We own that home except for an equity line that we used to purchase another home that oldest son & wife currently rent, their rent covers the equity line payment. We bought it so they could get on their feet and then purchase it from us.

The economy and poor lending has hindered that, since son is self-employed. The culprit is another property, a condo that we purchased as an investment prior to this. We have stretched and pinched pennies to pay the interest only 1st & 2nd mortgage, for the last two years. We had some renters that paid a little less than half, but they are moving out due to job loss (he’s a physician). We can not continue this way any longer.

How do we protect the two homes from the creditor of the condo once we default on continuing the payments on the condo?

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Dear Myra,

Yikes. I bet if you had to do it again you would just pay the extra for his insurance policy rather than lose your homestead exemption and protection in Florida.

The good news is that the home in trouble is a second property, rather than your primary residence. That gives you some options regarding bankruptcy benefits for reducing the mortgage on that home.

I think you need to IMMEDIATELY go see a Florida bankruptcy attorney and do whatever you can to perfect your homestead exemption and plan for the financial issues to come. With a little prior planning the stress of this can be mitigated.

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With three properties and some equity exposed in the first home this is going to be a sticky situation. Go see a Florida bankruptcy attorney for some specific advice so you can keep your homes. I don’t think the drivers license issue alone will sink the homestead exemption but you need to get this legally straightened out right away.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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