Although it’s rarer these days, people occasionally come into my office who have equity in their home. This is fortunate because Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions in the United States. There are exemptions on a federal level, but if a state chooses to create their own, residents of that state must utilize the state exemptions instead of the federal ones. Some states, like Pennsylvania, have no homestead exemption at all.
The Florida homestead exemption requires that the property be either: one half acre if within a municipality or one hundred and sixty contiguous acres outside a municipality. This is a unique benefit for many folks who live in Fleming island because it is largely unincorporated. What this could mean is that a person could file bankruptcy and retain a home with two million dollars in equity as exempt property and, if it’s in an unincorporated area, the property could cover several acres of land.
This exemption is outlined by the Florida Constitution, Article X, § 4. Land located within a municipality that was previously unincorporated can still be “homesteaded” as it so referred, unless the owner of the land consents to inclusion into the municipality.
These rules defining homestead, although referred to here in the bankruptcy arena, also apply to the more well known Florida Homestead Taxable Value Exemptions of $25,000 of home value which is exempt from all taxes and an additional $25,000 which is exempt from all taxes except for those providing for education.
If you have questions about your homestead and whether or not it is incorporated or unincorporated, contact a Fleming Island Bankruptcy Attorney or call us at (904) 685-1200 for a free consultation.