Florida

Standards Laid Down for Bifurcated Fee Arrangement in the Southern District of Florida

Local or state bar groups should work up standard-form retainer agreements and disclosures to facilitate bifurcated fee arrangements.

Lack of Permanent Resident Status Doesn’t Always Defeat a Homestead Exemption

Having a family member in the home who made a formal request for legal residence will suffice to permit a Florida homestead exemption, Judge Jennemann said.

Joint Tax Refund Isn’t Estate Property in Florida if Only One Spouse Files Bankruptcy

When personal property can be owned by the entireties, a tax refund isn’t estate property even if the bankrupt spouse earned all income.

PACA Violation Doesn’t Result in Nondischargeability for Defalcation, Tampa Judge Says

On an upcoming certified appeal, the Eleventh Circuit can decide whether violating a PACA trust is a ‘defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity’ that makes a debt nondischargeable.

Subchapter V by Itself Doesn’t Bar Class Claims, Florida Judge Says

Judge Colton decided that class claims aren’t prohibited in Subchapter V cases but didn’t allow a class claim in the case before her.

Anonymous Messages Calling the Debtor a Philanderer Isn’t a Stay Violation

Harassing a former lover isn’t an automatic stay violation.

Hotel Isn’t ‘Single Asset Real Estate’ and Is Eligible for Subchapter V Reorganization

Apartment buildings are single asset real estate, but hotels aren’t, says Orlando’s Bankruptcy Judge Karen Jennemann.

Only Noncitizens with ‘Green Cards’ Qualify for a Florida Homestead Exemption

Intending to reside permanently in the U.S. won’t qualify someone for a Florida homestead exemption unless the debtor is entitled to permanent residency.

Sanction for Discharge Violation: $450 in Actual Damages and $10,000 for Attorneys’ Fees

When there’s ‘no fair ground of doubt’ about a discharge violation, the creditor should settle or make an offer of settlement to avoid larger damages after trial.

Follow the Rules or Lose an Exemption in a New Home While in Chapter 13

Chapter 13 debtors lost an exemption in a new home after converting to chapter 7 because they didn’t follow the rules.

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