The long-awaited increase to the Florida Bankruptcy motor vehicle exemption is going to take even longer. A bill increasing the motor vehicle exemption from $1,000 to $5,000 was vetoed by Governor DeSanits. The bill increased the exemption to $5,000 only in the arena of bankruptcy and left the exemption at $1,000 for those facing a possible levy by creditors. In the veto, the Governor stated, “Although it may be time to consider increasing the outdated exemption amount, this increase should apply to all persons who can claim Florida exemptions, whether in or out of bankruptcy, which has long-lasting negative consequences for a person's credit history,”
The current exemption of $1,000 has been in place since 1993. This Bill came at a time when car values have skyrocketed due to supply chain issues and would help many people in financial distress currently plaguing out nation and state.
While I agree with the Governor reasonings, it is quite unfortunate that the change will have to wait. The current bill was filed on October 12, 2021, passed the house and senate unanimously, and went to the Governor for approval on May 5, 2022. The Governor vetoed on May 24, 2022. Hopefully, our legislators will move quickly to make the changes and refile the bill.
In the meantime, Floridians are stuck with the outdated exemption. Many people are forced to file a chapter 13 rather than a chapter 7 because of the value of their vehicle and the need to keep that vehicle to support their family. If you are facing financial distress, contact Holland Law Group to see if bankruptcy is a good option for you. Bankruptcy is not appropriate for everybody. We can also help reach settlements with your creditors. Call Holland Law Group, serving Florida from the Gold Coast to the Gulf Coast!
Laurie Blanton, Esq.