Debtor owns house in Georgia, and then moves to Florida where he rents an apartment. He does not sell his Georgia home. A creditor gets a judgment against the same debtor. The debtor seeks to protect his Georgia house on the grounds that as a Florida resident he is entitled to exempt his homestead. Can a Florida resident protect his primary home if it is located in another state, or does the Florida Constitution protect only homestead owned by Florida residents and located in Florida?
A recent decision from a Florida bankruptcy judge held as follows:
“The idea that someone with no connection to Florida, other than that the primary debt owed by the person resulted from a Florida investment of many years prior, can file bankruptcy in Florida to avail herself of Florida exemption laws for property located in other states is without any support under Florida law. Indeed, if this were the law, it would open the floodgates to parties remaining in their home states but using the generous Florida exemption laws simply by virtue of filing in the state of Florida without ever having to become actual residents domiciled within the state. This simply is not the law.”
This is good advice. If you want to enjoy Florida’s homestead protection please at least purchase a property in our state.