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How the Florida Homestead Exemption Protects Your Residence from CreditorsHow the Florida Homestead Exemption Protects Your Residence from Creditors

How the Florida Homestead Exemption Protects Your Residence from Creditors

01 Jun 2018

The State of Florida is known nationwide for its robust and generous homestead protections. Not only does the Florida Homestead Exemption provide major savings on property taxes, but Florida homestead laws also confers another major benefit: defending your residence from being forcibly sold by creditors.

How Do the Florida Homestead Laws Impact Creditor Claims?
If you are unable to pay back a debt to a creditor, they can sue to have your assets – including your real property – sold to satisfy the debt.

However, Article 10, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution states that a homestead is exempted from a forced sale by creditors, provided you meet the following requirements:

 

  • The property must be owned by a “natural person” (as opposed to an entity like a business or trust).
  • You must be a Florida resident who has established that the property is your primary residence.
  • You must establish that you are the legal owner of the property (such as through a recorded Deed).
  • The homestead property must meet certain size requirements – half an acre if in a municipality or 160 acres if outside a municipality (such as an unincorporated part of a county).

If you satisfy these requirements, you will most likely be able to protect your homestead from a forced creditor sale.

Exceptions to the Creditor Protections of the Florida Homestead Laws
While the Florida homestead protection law is one of the few recourses for avoiding a forced sale, it does not protect against all types of creditors. Here are the exceptions set forth by the Florida Constitution:

 

  • State and federal tax authorities.
  • Homeowners associations and similar organizations that levy assessments.
  • Liens by mechanics, contractors, or other parties to whom you owe money for improving the property.

Thus, if you owe money related to these circumstances, Florida homestead laws will not protect you. Nevertheless, homestead protection is an invaluable shield for your home against virtually every other type of creditor.

Hire Experts on Florida Homestead Laws
Determining whether your homestead property is exempt from creditor claims is best done with the help of the qualified real estate attorneys of Marina Title. Our firm specializes in a myriad of title and real estate services, including providing guidance to homeowners with regard to Florida homestead laws. To learn more about how we can help, contact (305) 901-5628 or email info@marinatitle.com.

 

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