Can I file for Bankruptcy in New York if I own a home in Florida?
Yes you can. So long as you have been domiciled in New York for 180 days prior to filing your Bankruptcy petition in New York, you can in fact file for Bankruptcy in New York even if you own a home in Florida. Our office has been receiving this question more frequently (I suspect its because of the housing market in south Florida turning into shambles). In any case, you can file for Bankruptcy here. The same rules apply with respect to equity in your home however. The trustee at the Bankruptcy meeting will want to know how much equity you have in your home in Florida and whether or not it falls above the exemption allowable at law. Typically, the majority of people will fall under that exemption if they have purchased a home/condo etc., in Florida in the previous few years. That’s a result of a combination of three factors. (1) Pre-construction purchases which give you little to no equity in your home as the money you put down is simply a deposit in many cases. (2) Many people who purchased in Florida have interest only, or ARM mortgages where they have not been able to build up a large amount of equity in the home (or lets face it-any equity) in such a small period of time. (3) The RAPIDLY declining property values in south Florida. Combine these three factors and you’re looking at many people who own homes in Florida and fall under the exemption amount needed to ensure the trustee isn’t taking your home in Florida and selling it.
Again you need to make sure that you have been living here for 180 prior to filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New York.
Daniel Gershburg Esq., is a Bankruptcy & Real Estate attorney serving clients in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester. Mr. Gershburg has given lectures and presentations to both attorneys and the community at large surrounding Bankruptcy and financial advocacy in the New York City area. He is a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.