Karen S. Leopold, Esq.
Does the Florida Homestead Act
which protects a homeowner from creditors automatically apply when you
purchase a home or do I need to apply for this? If an application is
required, are there time/date limitations of when
I must apply ?
In response to your inquiry to Buy the Beach Realty, there are two distinct
One, the more common, deals with a $25,000.00 exemption from a property's
assessed value for purposes of real estate taxation. To obtain this
exemption, one must file an application, accompanied by adequate proof of
homestead status, on or before March 1 of any given year (for that year's
The other homestead issue deals with protection from claims of creditors.
This protection is based in the Florida Constitution. There is no specific
filing for this protection. If a judgment creditor attempts to levy on
real property of a debtor, the debtor may file a motion to set aside the
property as homestead. A hearing will be held in which the debtor may
present evidence, and the court will render its judgment accordingly. A
favorable ruling will result in the creditor's inability to levy on the
property. It is for this reason that a married person cannot mortgage
homestead property without the joinder of his or her spouse. The
non-joining spouse is not bound by the mortgage, and therefore the lender is
precluded from foreclosure and may only sue on the promissory note.
Homestead protection is also afforded to debtors filing under Chapter 13 of the
US (bankruptcy) Code.
Please understand that this response is general in nature and is not to be
relied upon for any purpose. You are encouraged to retain legal counsel to
advise you further.
Karen S. Leopold, Esq.
Leopold, Korn & Leopold, P.A.
20801 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 501
Aventura, FL 33180
Unless otherwise stated square footage and lot dimensions appearing herein are
derived from county records and may or may not be accurate.
If square footage is material to a transaction a survey or other measurement is
recommended. This information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Current or
previous year’s taxes may not accurately forecast future property taxes.
Property taxes can increase from one year to the next for various reasons.
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