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Filing in Florida with Teenager, estranged spouse's property, exemption laws, asset listing questions

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  • Filing in Florida with Teenager, estranged spouse's property, exemption laws, asset listing questions

    First I have to say thank you. Reading through all the information I am grateful for those that take their time to help.

    STATUS
    I am filing Chapter 7 in Florida pro se as I have no disposable income. I have all the documents completed but need to make sure I did it properly. I have been in touch with a pro bono group. They do not know when an attorney will contact me (understandably since doing it on their own time). I am being sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates with date on the 1st. If it were just them I would settle and be done but, as my user name states I am over my head...big time).

    ASSETS
    I do receive child support and court ordered portion of her father's retirement (military). I have a teenager at home, an estranged spouse (married less than yr before made him leave), have not worked in almost a year and no luck finding a job. The house is in my name, just 1400sf so nothing fancy. I am sure there is some equity but no idea how much...been in it 44 months. I have a 2015 Subaru that I believe I may be upside down on...bought in 2017. I also have a few items stored here for my parents. I have bunch of stuff but it was all bought used. I have a trailer I paid $450 for. I have some jewelry but when I tried selling I was literally getting mere pennies on the dollar. I have 2 rescued horses that I have been unable to re-home. Have had them for 10 and 7 years. And 3 rescued dogs one of which is 11 and on his last legs. I am on 3 acres but not in municipality.

    *When asked to move out he stated that he was going to take everything he brought with him (bedroom,and dining room furniture, some kitchen items, tools, etc) and everything he bought (riding mower, tools, dishwasher) with him. That was several months ago and it is all still here. Because he said that I moved everything out of the actual house into the garage and replaced it with used stuff found on facebook, yard sales etc. (I took what cash I had and bought used stuff off facebook so my daughter would not be in an empty house...daughter's anxiety, depression made worse by what happened with stepfather and I). This was many months ago and his things, annoyingly, are all still here.*


    QUESTIONS

    -Do I list my teenagers belongings under my assets? Do they allow for children to have their own things? Hope that is not a stupid question.

    -Do I list all of my spouses things as my asset?
    Technically it isn't mine.

    -What exemption laws am I supposed to list?

    -Since I have no wage income, do I need to send in my bank statements? If so, how many months worth?

    -There was a lawsuit settled back in October 2017 that never went to court. This was because a tree fell on my house (came through roof) and insurance did not want to pay for new roof and other repairs. It never went to court so no case number or anything and all the funds from that went into replacing roof, having house jacked up and leveled and proper supports put in and other repairs.
    -Do I have to list this?

    -If my total assets for personal items exceed the $1,000 exemption, what happens then? Do they take my jewelry? My utility trailer?

    Again, thank you so much for your time. Any advice would be appreciated.
    Last edited by overmyhead03; 04-13-2018, 06:14 PM.

  • #2
    Me again. I just looked up my property on Zillow and it says it is valued at over $60K more than I bought for 3.5 years ago. That can't be right. Can it?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post

      QUESTIONS

      -Do I list my teenagers belongings under my assets? Do they allow for children to have their own things? Hope that is not a stupid question.
      Not a stupid question. I don't know the answer, and I think it probably depends on state law.

      Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
      -Do I list all of my spouses things as my asset?
      Technically it isn't mine.
      No. There is a question somewhere, maybe on the statement of financial affairs, that asks if you are holding assets for somebody else. That is where you should list your spouse's belongings.

      Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
      -What exemption laws am I supposed to list?
      A summary of Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions is at https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...ankruptcy.html. There is also a summary at: https://www.legalconsumer.com/bankru...hp?ST=FL#other. Both include citations to the law for each exemption.

      Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
      -Since I have no wage income, do I need to send in my bank statements? If so, how many months worth?
      The fact that you have no wage income is a reason they are likely to want more statements than they otherwise would so that they can make sure there aren't a lot of unexplained deposits. You send your statements to the trustee, after you file your petition. Do not file them with the court. The requirements vary by trustee. You will need to provide at least statements for the month in which you file. If the court or trustee's website does not have a list of what to provide to the trustee, call the trustee's office after you file and ask.

      Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
      -There was a lawsuit settled back in October 2017 that never went to court. This was because a tree fell on my house (came through roof) and insurance did not want to pay for new roof and other repairs. It never went to court so no case number or anything and all the funds from that went into replacing roof, having house jacked up and leveled and proper supports put in and other repairs.

      -Do I have to list this?
      It sounds like this is an insurance claim that you settled and that you no longer have a claim. You spent all the money. It doesn't sound like it is an asset for you to report. Read every question in the Statement of Financial Affairs to make sure one of them would not require you to disclose the settlement.

      -
      Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
      If my total assets for personal items exceed the $1,000 exemption, what happens then? Do they take my jewelry? My utility trailer?
      The trustee can take any non-exempt assets he thinks are worth selling for the benefit of your creditors.

      justbroke filed pro se in Florida and will be a good resource for you.
      LadyInTheRed is in the black!
      Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
      $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
        Me again. I just looked up my property on Zillow and it says it is valued at over $60K more than I bought for 3.5 years ago. That can't be right. Can it?
        It's possible. I have no idea what the real estate market has been like in Florida. In any case, Zillow is not a reliable source for value. Try remax and redfin for comparison, but you can't rely on any of them. The best way to get an idea of value without paying for an appraisal is to ask for real estate broker. But, since the homestead exemption is unlimited in Florida, it really is not all that important unless you think your house is underwater and you want to avoid using the homestead exemption so you can use the wildcard for personal property. If you know you have equity and will use the homestead exemption, look at the online value sources including the comps they are using and use your best estimate. On Zillow, if you go to owner view, it will let you choose which recent sales to include and exclude when estimating value.
        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you very much LadyInTheRed

          I forgot to ask about the child support. Do I list that and the court ordered percentage of my exes pension?

          I listed them under Family Support.

          Comment


          • #6
            justbroke , if you have a few minutes, any input would be appreciated.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
              Thank you very much LadyInTheRed

              I forgot to ask about the child support. Do I list that and the court ordered percentage of my exes pension?

              I listed them under Family Support.
              On Schedule I, right? That is definitely correct for the child support. If you are currently getting payments from the pension, that would also go on Schedule I. I am not sure whether to put it under family support or pension income. If it is part of the child support, then family support is probably the correct place to list it. As long as you include the income somewhere, it will be okay. It may be that you should also list the interest in the pension as an asset, but I don't know. Is the order to pay you a percentage of the pension for a certain period of time, or did the order give you percentage of the pension plan?
              LadyInTheRed is in the black!
              Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
              $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

              Comment


              • #8
                In regards to the pension...I was awarded a specific percentage permanently but is separate from child support.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I figured the actual pension is in his name, not mine. I just have an interest in it so listed it in 106 a/b part 4, as well as schedule I as income.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Is there a specific Florida law that pertains to child support exemption?

                    Do I list all assets under exemptions?

                    I have read where someone did not list house as exempt and things went awry.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If, on the day you file BK, you have unspent child support or a support payment that is due or overdue but not received, then you list it on A/B. Your right to future child support payments is not an asset.

                      The following is from the list of exemptions at the Nolo link I posted above:

                      Alimony and child support, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor (the bankruptcy filer) and any dependent of the Debtor, are exempt. (Fla. Stat. Ann. ยง 222.201.)
                      Any asset you want to exempt should be listed on Schedule C, in addition to listing it on Schedule A/B. You definitely want to list your home as exempt, assuming you want to keep it.
                      LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                      Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                      $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks. Definitely keeping house I am worried because I moved majority of my husbands things into garage and replaced with used furniture. His furniture and belongings are all hoity toity and way more $ as far as value.

                        Part of my debt is because he lied and got a credit card in my name and never paid it and put a couple of his bills in my name and is refusing to pay. Just a mess that has me on edge

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          LadyInTheRed


                          No word from Just brokebroke or attorney. I understand on this forum it is not legal advice just discussion.

                          I have been mulling through lots of posts. I am so confused and overwhelmed.

                          I do have equity in the house so I am using the homestead exemption. But after reading all these posts, some from before 2017, I am unsure which law covers that exemption.

                          In Florida I can only claim $1000 exemptions for personal property. I am way over by about $5000 because of jewelry, mainly my wedding set.

                          So on exemptions form...do I only list exemptions for up to the $1000 (example: Line 6 forfor household goods)?

                          Or

                          Do I list it ALL as exempt and they figure it out?

                          Annnnd

                          I thought it was 222.25 that exempted personal property but saw in a post it is article x???

                          If I am that much over do they automatically take what they want? At this point and given circumstances with my estranged spouse, I would give up the ring. Is that feasible?

                          Yes, it is 230 a.m. and I am awake stressing big time about this. :-(

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            (I've been extremely busy and traveling the last 14 days, but I thought that I did respond to this post as I recall reading it!)

                            Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
                            -Do I list my teenagers belongings under my assets? Do they allow for children to have their own things? Hope that is not a stupid question.
                            What "really" belongs to your teenager is the question! If it's bedroom stuff, then it probably belongs to you personally. If it's a gift from someone to that child, then it's likely the child's property. For example, the bed is likely your property, but the iPhone that grandma bought for the child, is the child's property.

                            Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
                            -Do I list all of my spouses things as my asset? Technically it isn't mine.
                            If you are holding property for another person, then you can list that on the Statement of Financial Affairs (SOFA). I wouldn't use the word "technically" but use the word legally. Is the property legally yours? Again, if your estranged husband's prperty is in your home and you're holding it for them, it's not your property. BUT, if you're still married there could be issues as to whom each property asset belongs, unless and until there is a marital settlement agreement on the property. (That's my personal opinion.)

                            Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
                            -What exemption laws am I supposed to list?
                            You can only use the Florida exemptions since I assume that you lived in Florida for at least 44 months.

                            Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
                            -Since I have no wage income, do I need to send in my bank statements? If so, how many months worth?
                            The Trustee will have a list of things that they want to see. It is typically 90 days (3 months) of bank statements. If you file Pro Se, you'll have to contact the Trustee to find this list of things that they need prior to the 341 Meeting.

                            Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
                            -There was a lawsuit settled back in October 2017 that never went to court. This was because a tree fell on my house (came through roof) and insurance did not want to pay for new roof and other repairs. It never went to court so no case number or anything and all the funds from that went into replacing roof, having house jacked up and leveled and proper supports put in and other repairs.-Do I have to list this?\
                            Double check the Statement of Financial Affairs (SOFA) but I don't think it has you list "past" (closed) lawsuits.

                            Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
                            -If my total assets for personal items exceed the $1,000 exemption, what happens then? Do they take my jewelry? My utility trailer?
                            It depends. If your homestead exemption is not used, then you can use the "unused portion" of the homestead exemption for other property. The unused homestead exemption is found in FS 222.25(4). There are Trustees that will fight you if you claim the homestead exemption on property. So if you have $4,000 in equity in your homestead, then you will not get the extra $4,000 exemption. If your "non-exempt" personal property exceeds the $1,000, the Trustee will negotiate with you over what they want. There are many strategies, including to tell the Trustee to come get the utility trailer.




                            Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                            Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                            Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                            I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
                              Do I list it ALL as exempt and they figure it out?
                              Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
                              I thought it was 222.25 that exempted personal property but saw in a post it is article x???
                              Yes, it's confusing. Since you have equity in your property which will clearly exceed the $4,000 unused homestead exemption found in FS 222.25(4), then you will only have the $1,000 for personal property (other than $1,000 for any vehicle which can only be used for a vehicle).

                              You must, as ladyinthered wrote, put your property on Schedule A/B and then exempt it with the correct exemption on Schedule C. You can't just list everything as exempt as the Trustee will not only be frustrated, but probably irritated that you don't understand the law and process. It is natural that a Pro Se may not do the exemptions correctly, but just marking everything as exempt would probably invite the infamous visit by the appraiser to check all your property in side your home. It is a lot better to be very specific and very accurate with listing property and the exemptions that you apply. I had a Chapter 7 Trustee that almost always sent an appraiser; but not in my case since I was thorough.


                              Originally posted by overmyhead03 View Post
                              If I am that much over do they automatically take what they want? At this point and given circumstances with my estranged spouse, I would give up the ring. Is that feasible?
                              They want money, not the property. The Trustee will negotiate with you before trying to sell things. If the Trustee senses that you are not up to speed on the overall process, they may as for 100% of the non-exempt value. You need to negotiate downward by, perhaps, countering with a much lower percentage (35%-50%). That's if you want to keep the property. For example, the utility trailer... I would just tell the Trustee to come and get it.

                              Remember, in Florida you get to keep the entire value of your homestead property as an exemption. if you have $60,000 in exemption on your homestead, I would not fret over $6,000 of non-exempt property.

                              You'll just need to think about what value you place on things.
                              Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                              Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                              Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                              I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                              Comment

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