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JoeLawyer, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 767
Experience:  Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996
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We cannot afford the payments on our property in florida and

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We cannot afford the payments on our property in florida and cant sell it because of its devaluation. we are canadians living in canada. What can we do? If we declare bankruptcy will we lose our canadian assets?
Do you not have enough equity in it to cover the mortgage?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
We owe $460k and it is worth approx $250k .We put all our retirement savings into it in 2005 and paid $500k (appraised at $525k).We sold our investment property in canada and took out a negative mortgage . We now owe $75K more than we did when we bought it in 2005 . We have made some bad decisions and would love to find a way for this nightmare to end as it worsens daily. We cant seem to get rentals any more.
You know, I am not that sure about US bankruptcy laws and so I realize that I better transfer this question to a US law expert.

I will do so now and then let an expert who is online know so your question is picked up quickly.

I am sorry this has happened to you and I hope you can work things out.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you Debra
unfortunately I have to leave at 7:30 for 2 hours . i understand i can pick up the conversation when i return . Is that correct?
my email [email protected]

An expert will write you back and you can post back again when you have time.

I was rushing and provided this as an answer and not as in Information Request as I wanted you to get the response before you left.

Do NOT accept it even though you may get a prompt to and later when you accept the answer be sure it's for the US expert's answer and not mine.

Edited by debra thal on 11/6/2009 at 12:13 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Are you the us expert ?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I seem to be talking to myself . Is Debra online to put me back on track?
Hi Mary:

I think we have put the cart before the horse. Before talking about what options you have, you first need to figure out what jurisdiction (U.S. or Canada) will apply since what happens if you file bankruptcy in Canada may differ from what will happen if you file bankruptcy in the U.S.

First of all, you can only file bankruptcy in the United States if you reside or have a domicile, a place of business, or property in the United States, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 109, HERE. If you do not meet any of these criteria, you will have to file bankruptcy in Canada.

Since you have real estate in Florida, I assume you would qualify to file bankruptcy in the U.S. in the district in Florida in which your real estate is located.

However, since you live in Canada you probably also qualify to file there.

So, you may need to talk to Debra again to see what will happen if you file in Canada, so you can compare and contrast that result with what will happen if you file in the U.S. so you can choose the lesser of two evils.

If you file in the U.S., you will probably have to file in Florida since 28 U.S.C. 1408, HERE, probably compels a Florida filing.

When you file bankruptcy in Florida, you are only allowed to protect assets which the State of Florida deems exempt, HERE, and any other assets (even those in Canada) can be sold by the trustee to pay creditors.

So, you may want to contact some attorneys in the area of your real estate in Florida to see what costs are involved, and take note of how much property you get to protect under Florida's exemption laws.

Then, contact an attorney in Canada and see what costs are involved, and take note of how much property you can keep if you file in Canada.

Then, like I said - select the lesser of two evils.

One glitchy thing to know about is some States won't let a person use that State's exemptions unless that person is a resident. I haven't found this language in the Florida statutes, but that doesn't mean it's not there somewhere... So, when you talk to an attorney in Florida to get a price quote, ask them if Florida's exemptions will apply even though you are not a Florida resident.


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JoeLawyer, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 767
Experience: Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996
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