Are my cars non-exempt property? How? 12 Answers as of May 28, 2015

I have one paid off car and one car that I am leasing and still financing. Are they both exempt from being turned over? Thank you!

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
You can keep, in Colorado, $5,000 equity in a vehicle per debtor. If you are 60 or older, or disabled or have a disabled dependent, that number increases to $10,000 per debtor. If you use the vehicle in your occupation (not simply to go to and from work), you can also use a $20,000 "tool of the trade" exemption in addition to the other exemptions.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/28/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Most cars are. I do not know what state you are in. Google you state and "exemptions" the answer should come up. states vary on this.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2015
Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr.
Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr. | John C. Farrell, Jr.
If your car is paid off then it cannot be repossessed from the auto loan company. However, with respect to other creditors then you will need to consult with your state laws regarding any exemptions that may apply specifically to automobiles and/or personal property. Every state's law on this subject matter differ.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 5/26/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
If you are filing individually then you only get a $4k exemption on one vehicle under NYS or under federal exemptions a $3,675 exemption. If you have no house to protect and are using the federal exemptions you can use an additional wildcard exemption for additional equity in your vehicle.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/25/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
A leased car is exempt from being turned over because it isn't your property - it belongs to the leasing company. The value of the paid off car needs to be compared to your state's motor vehicle exemption. If the car is worth more than the exemption, then you might have to pay the trustee to avoid having to turn it over. It's worth noting that if you're married, the exemption is doubled IF THE CAR IS IN JOINT NAME.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/25/2015
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    This requires more information.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/22/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    First things first: retain an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. That said, the exemptability of the cars depends upon the size of your equity in the cars, and whether you use state or federal exemptions. And also to what extent you may be using your 'wild card' exemption. In other word, without knowing the value of the cars, the debt(s) against them, and your use of other exemptions, your question cannot be answered usefully. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/22/2015
    Freeman Law Group, LLC
    Freeman Law Group, LLC | Derek Freeman
    Whether your cars are exempt depends on the exemption amount in your state and how much equity you have in them. For example, if the exemption amount for your state is $5,000, then as long as the total equity you own in both vehicles does not exceed $5,000, you can exempt them from liquidation in a bankruptcy. If your state allows a wild card exemption, you can apply it to exempt your vehicles as well. If not, and if your total equity exceeds the exemption amount, one or more of your vehicles will be liquidated, and you will be paid the exemption amount. Since one of your cars is paid for, that will probably be liquidated first.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/22/2015
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    The leased car has no equity, as it is a lease so by definition you have no ownership interest in the car. The other car, depends how much it's worth and what other assets you might have.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2015
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    The answer to your question depends upon which state you live in and what the actual value of your vehicle is. You should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer before taking any action you might regret.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/22/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    If you are filing bankruptcy alone, only one of your vehicles can be claimed as exempt. However, the other vehicle may not require the use of an exemption because it is leased. So the only think you own is the leasehold interest, not the actual title to the vehicle. The value of the paid off vehicle will be important because the exemption available under the laws in most states is subject to a dollar limit.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/22/2015
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    No. You are allowed to exempt a limited amount of equity in one vehicle. The vehicle you are leasing is effectively exempt since you have no equity in it, however, the car that is paid off is not. Depending on which exemption scheme you use (federal or California) you may exempt $2,900 to $5,100. Check with a bankruptcy attorney for more specific information. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2015
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