Wednesday, November 24, 2010



The St. Lucie Appraisal Co.
P.O. Box 2700, Fort Pierce, FL 34954


Service throughout South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida - It used to be that when a person wished to donate a valuable musical instrument to charity for a tax credit, the accompanying valuation appraisal was prepared by someone at the music store where you bought the item. Since the Internal Revenue Service changed their rules prohibiting the appraisal of donated items by “Excluded Individuals,” St. Lucie Appraisal has seen an increase in the number of requests to appraise musical instruments. If you wish to donate a piano to your church or to a charity, the valuation appraisal cannot be prepared by that music store anymore. Similarly, if that store is involved in selling your instrument through consignment, your IRS appraisal cannot be written by that store.

Please feel free to call St. Lucie Appraisal when you need appraisals for donations of all types of personal property including art, antiques, collectibles and valuable musical instruments. We arrive promptly, complete our reports in a timely manner and we will work with you to make sure that you obtain the highest tax credit available for your donated items.
We are USPAP Compliant and Licensed by The State of Florida.


Keywords for this article: charity, donating, donations, FLORIDA APPRAISAL, FLORIDA piano appraiser, Fort Pierce, insurance appraise, IRS, musical instrument, PERSONAL PROPERTY APPRAISER, piano, st. lucie appraisal company, church

Revised 12-06-2012
Updated 06-20-2013

Thursday, November 18, 2010



BOCA RATON, Florida - Disclosing all of your assets in a bankruptcy schedule is mandatory. In a Chapter 7 case, unless exemptions or an injunction exist, everything you own becomes the property of your creditors. In a Chapter 11 case, a debtor usually retains his possessions while a restructuring of debt takes place. The debtor may elect to exempt certain items from the bankruptcy estate through an "ownership allowance" found in the Means Test, a determination of whether the debtor qualifies for Chapter 7 protection. An assignment given to St. Lucie Appraisal involving Tangible Personal Property usually is in connection with a Chapter 7 filing in Florida.

Will you be able to get in your car and drive away from all of this? In Ransom v. MBNA AMERICA BANK, in 2007, The United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the 9th Circuit Court made an interesting ruling with regard to motor vehicles. If you own your car outright, it is fair game and becomes a part of the personal property you will forfeit. However, if you owe even one payment the situation reverses; you can elect to keep your wheels. In essence, you are buying the unprotected equity in the car. You may place a lien on the automobile yourself in order to qualify for the car allowance by creating a simple written promissory note. Regarding the ownership of multiple vehicles, the Court also made provisions as to amounts of expenses allowable to the debtor, depending on the region the debtor resides and/or the number of cars the debtor possesses. As always, consult your legal advisor for a firm clarification of your rights under current bankruptcy law. There are also a number of blogs and other on-line articles which offer assistance.

Here is a part of the Courts conclusion:

The bankruptcy court determined that, by deducting a vehicle ownership expense under § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I) for a car that he owned free of encumbrances, the debtor did not devote all of his projected disposable income to fund the plan. The bankruptcy court thus denied plan confirmation pursuant to § 1325(b)(1)(B). We agree with the courts that hold that a debtor has no right to deduct a vehicle ownership expense when he or she makes no lease or loan payments on the vehicle. Under § 707(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I), the deduction of a vehicle ownership expense only applies to the debtor when he or she has that particular expense.

Explain why you feel that you are entitled to avoid a lien on some or all of your Personal Property. Items that may be necessary for you to make a living are good examples. Make a case why your living room furniture has little or no resale value. Your local bar association can refer you to a lawyer specializing in bankruptcies. The preceding link is for Martin County, Florida bar association. One final word regarding your choice of attorneys. While a competent practitioner can save you a lot of time, money and emotional stress, you would do well to interview a few of them. Have they represented trustees and creditors as well as debtors? Legal fees aren't inconsequential so find out what services are included and whether you'll have an open channel of communication. If your legal team negotiates a good outcome on your behalf it will be a major step toward a fresh start.


Keywords for this article: bankruptcy, chapter 7, FLORIDA, Martin County personal property appraiser, PERSONAL PROPERTY, St Lucie Appraisal, st. lucie appraisal company

Revised 09-04-2012
Updated 06-20-2013

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Donations for Tax Credits in Florida
HOLLYWOOD, Florida - Donating items to charitable organizations benefits not only all of the worthy causes out there but you, the taxpayer, as well. For those who don't know, when you donate an item to charity, you may deduct the appraised amount from your federal taxes. You must make your donation within the same calendar year as you are filing for and, for items over $500.00, obtain an appraisal (also tax-deductible) from a state licensed appraiser such as The St. Lucie Appraisal Company. We will also provide you with a completed IRS Form # 8283.

In Florida, along with the well-known charities like The Red Cross,  The Salvation Army and Feed the Children, there are local organizations including Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida and A Second Chance Puppy and Kitten Rescue and Treasure Coast Hospice.

One of the advantages to donating items such as electronics and automobiles is that depreciable items such as these will tend to be at worth a lot more now than in a few short years. This is especially true if parts necessary to make vital repairs become unavailable. Another factor to consider is the market. Except for the highest-end items, these may include collectibles, antiques, boats, etc., merely valuable tangible personal properties aren't attracting the number of buyers they once did. Our appraisals reflect market values which are based on what someone will pay for something in an arm's length transaction.

IRS Publication 561 can help explain more about the requirements and benefits of donating. Our company performs market value appraisals throughout South Florida. Email if you have any questions or comments about this article.

Keywords for this article: arm's length transaction, charity, donations, Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, FLORIDA, Form 8283, IRS, Red Cross, Salvation Army, St Lucie Appraisal, tax-deductible, Treasure Coast Hospice

Revised 09-04-2012
Updated 06-20-2013