It can save you. Florida Homestead can literally save your house. By claiming this statutory protection, you can be protected against creditors and can be secure in your home. Make sure you understand how it works and what exactly what type of protections the homestead laws provide for in Florida.
Requirements of Florida Homestead
Florida Homestead is a complex concept to understand. Florida Statutes chapter 196 explains the homestead laws in more detail. However, there are several requirements to claim the Florida Homestead exemption.
- Claim Homestead before judgments: To qualify for the benefits of homestead protection, you must claim the exemption before any creditors seek judgment against your home.
- Natural Persons: only people can claim the exemption. A corporation, LLC, or other business entity is unable to claim this exemption.
- Intent to reside: you cannot claim an investment home as your homestead. Only properties that you have an intent to make your permanent residence can you claim as your homestead property.
- Property within the municipality: up to ½ acre of contiguous land will qualify for the exemption that is located within the municipality. Any additional land will not qualify for protection
- Property outside the municipality: up to 160 acres of contiguous land located outside the municipality will qualify for protection. Any additional land does not count for homestead protection.
Exceptions to Protection
Although the Florida Homestead exemption protects against most creditors, there are a few creditors that are still able to acquire a judgment against your homestead home. If an existing creditor seeks a judgment for unpaid taxes, an unpaid mortgage payment, or any mechanics lien or improvements lien, then these would all be considered exceptions to the Florida Homestead protection.
What happens when I sell my home?
Don’t worry, if you sell your home, you can still have limited protection from creditors. Upon the sale of your home, if you have an intent to reinvest your proceeds from the sale, then this will be continued to be protected against creditors. That means if you purchase a home within a couple of years, the money from your home sale cannot be touched by your creditors.
Speak to an Attorney
Homestead laws are very intricate. Many details make it difficult to explain concisely. If you have questions about homestead protection, you should consider speaking to an attorney. At our firm, we offer clients a Free Consultation. Call us today to speak to an attorney at (772) 774-7771 or click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.