florida homestead exemption act



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Our statewide top quality, unique and proven services concentrate in the following areas:

  • Homestead Exemption Initial Applications and Claims

  • Head of Family Claims to Protect Wages and Income

  • Retirement, Income, Wage and Salary Protection

  • Community Association and HOA Property Management

  • FEMA Flood Remapping - Letter of Map Amendment

  • Reduction of Property Taxes for Florida Homeowners


  • Appeals of Denial or Revocation of Homestead Exemption

  • Real Estate Homestead Tax Exemption Consulting

  • Home Equity Protection from Judgments and Liens

  • Homestead Exemption Value Adjustment Board Appeals

  • Real Property Inspections and Site Surveys

  • Real Property Management and Maintenance Services



Administration of Homestead Property Claims

Foreclosure of privately owned properties is a silent national epidemic and it has become a brutal rape of the American dream of home ownership. No homeowner should be forced to lose his, or his family’s home along with a lifetime of equity, over an unpaid bill or any other valid debt, usually amounting to only a few dollars before lawyers or bill collectors inflate it with their collection fees. Debts can be collected in many other ways that do not violate the constitutional rights of America’s homeowners. Foreclosure is like using a bulldozer to bury an ant hill. An attorney ironically put it best when he said that foreclosure was the nuclear weapon in a legal enforcement arsenal and it is definitely overkill. Florida Homestead Services can stop foreclosure or lien's dead in their tracks.

Homestead Property Protection

A man’s home is truly his castle according to the Florida Constitution. It is a castle that is, and should be absolutely impenetrable by any legal foe or by any creditor. The homestead exemption for asset protection of real property purposely provides the owner of real property with a shield from virtually all creditors. Florida courts have liberally expanded the legal and statutory definitions of homestead property, which includes more than just a single family home. Such places of residence, like condominiums, manufactured homes or a mobile home, are afforded the full homestead protections given by the Florida Constitution as are almost any other type of primary residence. Whatever kind of residence a person owns, their investment and equity in their primary residence cannot be seized by any creditor for any reason, but only if the residence is properly claimed as their designated homestead. The protection is not automatic as the statutes require certain actions. Under Florida law, homestead exemption may not be used to shield property from: (1) payment of taxes and assessments thereon; (2) obligations contracted for the purchase, improvement or repair thereof; or (3) obligations contracted for house, field or other labor performed on realty.

Although a castle to one person may be a shanty to another, the law does not so discriminate. Regardless of whether one’s castle is a traditional family home or a modest cottage, whether it is a rural farmhouse or a villa by the sea, whether it a houseboat that floats or a vehicle that sits on wheels, whether it is a condominium or a co-op; it receives the same protections under Florida law. Many individuals consider the equity in the primary residence (homestead) as one of the more sacrosanct assets when it comes to asset protection.  Both the Florida Constitution and Florida law provide that the equity in our "homestead" as the primary residence of a Florida resident, is exempt from creditors' claims, and the Florida Supreme Court has issued opinions in the past that were extremely protective of the "Homestead Exemption."

Florida homestead is not limited to one owner per home or property. All of the persons who jointly own and also reside on a 'primary residence' have homestead protection available to them, and no creditor of either of the co-owners or of the co-residents can force the sale of a property to pay the debt. If a partial homeowner became a judgment debtor, the interest that they have in the residence and that of the other owner would be protected from any forced sale.

The Florida Constitution prevents the Internal Revenue Service from foreclosing on a federal tax lien against a homeowner, and forcing them to sell the primary residence to pay the tax debt. When the homestead is sold, or when the owner dies, the IRS will take the sale proceeds to pay the tax lien. Other exceptions to homestead protection are voluntary liens, such as mortgages, construction and mechanics liens for work done on, or goods supplied to your principle residence.

FHS can properly claim your real property as homestead property, immune from virtually lien or judgment. FHS can provide this valuable, unique and proprietary service at the closing table.  

Wage and Income Protection

The income or wages of the head of a family are exempt from garnishment or any other process of ‘attachment’ unless the person’s net wages are more than five-hundred dollars per week, and that person has agreed in writing to allow the wages to be taken to pay the debt. The statutory definition of a ‘head of family’ now includes all natural persons who reside in Florida who provide more than one-half of the support for a child or any other dependent. Wages in a bank account that belong to a head of family retain their protection from being seized by creditors or by garnishment for six months even if the wages are mixed with money from other sources. If a ‘head of family’ has not agreed in writing to allow the garnishment or attachment of his or her wages, all the wages are exempt from any court process of attachment, income deduction or garnishment.  Homestead protection is effective against civil judgments, including marital settlement decrees, but it does not stop courts from taking other measures to enforce awards of alimony or child support.

Florida statutes state that wages, salary, commissions and other compensation for personal services paid to the head of household cannot be garnished by any creditor if properly claimed as exempt. The ‘salary exemption’ is an important part of the Florida asset protection laws. The definition of a ‘head of household’ has been the subject of many Florida court rulings. As long as the dependent, even an adult, depends on his provider for more than 50% of the dependent’s financial support, the provider can claim to be a head of household. The provider does not need to be married and the dependent does not need to reside in the same house as the parent. In fact, one court ruled that a dependent may even reside outside of the State of Florida. You must file a sworn affidavit with the court to declare your ‘head of family’ status, to claim your exemption and to protect your wages from being garnished. Florida Homestead Services can claim your wage exemption for you and declare certain legal issues that must comply with the law. We can also perform this service at closing or at any time in a worker's lifetime.

Real Property Lien and Judgment Invalidation

Florida homestead exemptions are available to real property owners in Florida which covers two separate types of homestead exemption, one homestead exemption for real property ad valorem tax purposes and a homestead exemption for real property asset protection purposes. The two are totally unrelated. The fact that you have one type of homestead exemption, such as the ad valorem property tax exemption, does not necessarily mean that you have the other type of homestead exemption, such as the asset or real property protection exemption, as each legal exemption has distinct, separate and different legal requirements. Specifically, the homestead exemption for real property tax purposes provides an owner of real property with a twenty-five thousand dollar reduction from the assessed value of the property, thereby reducing the amount of real property ad valorem taxes between six and seven hundred dollars per tax year. In Florida, since real property taxes are paid in arrears similar to the interest on your mortgage note, the property tax homestead exemption is only available if the owner is the permanent resident of Florida as of December 31 of the prior year, and the owner files an application for the property tax exemption at the county property appraiser’s office on or before March 1 of the current year.

The homestead property tax exemption has a separate legal or statutory basis.  As previously mentioned, it allows a resident of Florida to exclude from the calculation of his ad valorem real property taxes fifty thousand dollars of the assessed value of his principal residence. Do not confuse the homestead property tax exemption with 'Homestead’, and do not allow anyone to convince you it is related. It is not. Florida homestead law complicates real estate titles and conveyances, the descent and distribution of decedents’ estates, and the collection of money judgments. In addition, it is often confused with, or considered to be associated with the homestead exemption from real property taxes. Every Florida resident is entitled to have his interest in the real property on which he resides, his properly claimed ‘homestead’, exempt from forced sale for the collection of money judgments, liens or for almost any other reason. After the owner’s death, this exemption transfers to his surviving spouse and heirs at law who inherit the homestead. The key to the 'Homestead’ protection is that the exemption must be properly claimed prior to a judgment. Florida Homestead Services can provide this valuable, unique, exclusive and proprietary service at the closing table or at any time for virtually any homeowner.

Florida Homestead Services...protecting your home from unsecured creditors one homeowner at a time.

Free Homestead Information Request Form

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Do you currently reside full time on the property?:

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Is there a construction lien or lien regarding any improvements?:

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Real Property Primary Residence Income - Wages Asset Protection

Homestead Exemption Filing

Protection of Real Property Protection of Income Declaration of Homestead

Value Adjustment Board Appeals Protection from Forced Sale Protection from Judgments Protection from Liens 


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