FT. LAUDERDALE-- May 27, 2005--There is a law in Florida that allows those filing for a Tax Exemption of Homestead to also receive the protection of the Homestead asset, separate from the ad valorem tax "break".
This supersedes the old law that made it necessary to file for each separately through different departments of the Florida government. Although the new law does help, there are still certain vital facts that are not generally known, facts that could be very costly to homeowners, especially those with credit card debt.
One of the difficulties lies in the fact that the protection of a Homestead does not go into effect automatically as most assume, and the tax "break" does not go into effect for at least 10 months after filing for the Property Ad Valorem Tax Exemption. And, of course, the homeowner is not protected from creditors, liens, judgments, etc. during that 10-month period.
Further, this period of vulnerability could extend to nearly two years if the homeowner wasn't eligible for the tax exemption for that first year. This could spell disaster for some homeowners who assume they are protected when they are not.
The asset protection Florida Homestead Services offers is protection from most creditors' liens, including municipal liens, against one's principle residence. Further, it precludes undue hardship on the homeowner and dependents that could come from liability in a bankruptcy, personal liability or negligence lawsuit.
It can be invaluable in a divorce to establish possession and right to property. Other advantages would include helping to establish Joint Domicile for those in an Alternative Community (gay or lesbian). When selling a home, it provides protection from creditors who could otherwise seize proceeds from the sale.
In short, it provides the peace of mind that comes from knowing the home is protected against anything untoward happening to the homeowner. This also brings peace of mind with Estate Planning, by assuring the funds are safe from debt to those creditors waiting to pounce on unsuspecting homeowners.
There are many stories of how peoples' lives were changed by Florida Homestead Services. Stories of those who were fortunate enough to have found them and gotten the documents filed in a timely manner.
There is James W. who finally realized his dream of owning a home after years of struggling. Shortly afterwards, James was stricken down by a heart attack. Although it was relatively mild, it kept him from returning to work.
He and his wife, who also has medical problems, were unable to handle the legal issues and paperwork, but Florida Homestead Services helped them help themselves. They had previously procrastinated and knew it was a necessary thing to do to keep from losing their home.
"I've lost my job and can't pay finances," he wrote to Florida Homestead Services at 866/382-5383. "I was really worried about my home I just bought," he said. "I was afraid of losing it to creditors until Florida Homestead Services helped me with the process."