Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Florida's Constitution and laws protect your property from seizure to pay debts.

Here is a short list of the items that a creditor can never take away from you even if the creditor has a judgment against you:
(a) Article X, Section 4, of the Florida Constitution prohibits the seizure of your homestead (except for taxes and mortgages on the property).

(b) The cash value of life insurance policies cannot be seized by a creditor (see Florida Statutes, Section 222.14).

(c) The value of an annuity contract cannot be seized by a creditor (see Florida Statutes, Section 222.14).

(d) Wages of the head of a household cannot be seized by a creditor. Under Florida law, the head of a family includes any person who is providing more than one-half of the support for a child or other dependent.

(e) Earnings from wages that are put into a bank are exempt from garnishment for six months. Always keep proof of the source of all deposits to your bank account to prove to the judge that your wages were the source of all deposits into your account (see Florida Statutes, Section 222.11).

(f) Disability income benefits may not be seized to pay a creditor under Florida law (see Florida Statutes, Section 222.18).

(g) Money kept in 401K plans and other retirement plans such as individual retirement arrangements may not be seized by creditors under Florida Statutes, Section 222.21.

(h)Money placed into prepaid college tuition plans and medical savings accounts may not be seized by creditors and may not be garnished or be subject to legal process in favor of any creditor under Florida Statues, Section 222.22.

(i) A creditor may not seize $1,000 worth of value in a car (see Florida Statutes, Section 222.25).

(j) Any professionally prescribed health aids such as walkers, special beds or other items are exempt from seizure by creditors (see Florida Statutes, Section 222.25(2)).

(k) "Earned income credit" described in 26 U.S.C., Section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code, may not be seized by a creditor even after the amount of the credit has been placed into a bank account (see Florida Statutes, Section 222.25).

(l) Florida's constitutional protections are so powerful that even a criminal who purchases a homestead with the specific intent of defrauding a creditor cannot lose his house (see Havoco of America, Ltd. Vs. Elmer C. Hill, (790 So.2d 1018 Fla. Sup. Ct., 2001).