Thursday, July 4, 2013

$125,000 Cap of 522(p) is Stackable in Joint Case

The Court in In re Limperis, 2007 WL 1586502 (Bkrtcy.S.D.Fla.)(Olson, J.) held that each debtor in a joint case is entitled to claim $125,000 ($136,875 since April 1, 2007) of equity as exempt per the 522(p) cap. In this case the debtors acquired their homestead within 1215 days prior to the filing of the bankruptcy and were therefore subject to the exemption cap of section 522(p) which restricts the homestead exemption to $125,000. The Court adopted the reasoning set forth in In re Ramussen, 349 B.R. 747 (Bankr.M.D. Fla.2006) and held that each debtor in a joint case may claim a $125,000 interest in the homestead as exempt. The Court in Ramussen reasoned that stacking is not inconsistent with current practice under Florida law and the Bankruptcy Code governing other exemptions and that each debtor gets to claim exemptions separately.