How does filing bankruptcy work? 30 Answers as of January 09, 2012

I am 22 years old and I have 10k in credit card debit. I am not married and I have no kids and no house. I only have a car and I've been making payments for over a year and Ive never missed one. If I file bankruptcy I just want to make sure I get to keep my car and that I can start clean again. I know I can't get and credit cards for about 6 to 10 yrs. But I want to make sure that's how bankruptcy works.

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Bruning & Associates, PC
Bruning & Associates, PC | Kevin Bruning
You can file for bankruptcy, discharge the credit card debt, and keep the car.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 1/9/2012
Selleck Legal, PLLC
Selleck Legal, PLLC | Stacey Selleck
You sound like you may be a candidate for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy which will eliminate your credit card debt. You will be able to reaffirm the debt for your car and keep it as long as you are current on the payments. It will not take 6 to 10 years to get another credit card. You will have credit card applications sent to you shortly after your bankruptcy is discharged. The bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 10 years though. You just need to start rebuilding your credit as soon as your case is over.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/6/2012
Guardian Law Group PLLC
Guardian Law Group PLLC | C. David Hester
You can file and keep your car as long as you don't have more than $2500 in equity in it. Of course you would have to continue to make your payments and reaffirm the car debt.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 1/6/2012
J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
You really need to consult with a competent bankruptcy atty. There is a lot of information you need to have before deciding to file bankruptcy. For the most part, you could keep your car if you continued to make payments but if there is equity in excess of your exemptions, a trustee may sell the car to pay creditors. Also, your current income is a factor. So, again, competent counsel is the best way to find out the details of what you need to know.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 1/6/2012
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
Yes, you may keep your car when you file bankruptcy. However, you should sit down for a free consultation to discuss all issues more fully.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 1/6/2012
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    When you file bankruptcy you can keep your car if you continue to pay for it and it is claimed exempt. Some lenders require you to sign a written reaffirmation agreement that is approved by the bankruptcy judge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    You should have a fairly simple bankrutpcy filing. You should not have a problem with your car as long as the equity can be exempted. You should be able to reestablish credit in just a few years rather than 6 to 10 years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You will get credit cards in less than a month after your bankruptcy discharge since you can not file a bankruptcy for 8 more years. It will be on your credit report for 10 years, but again your credit will improve quickly. If you have enough exemptions, then you will not lose you car.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    The Law Offices of Deborah Ann Stencel | Deborah A. Stencel
    That's a very broad question! It would be impossible to answer you with 100% certainty without talking to you, but I can say the following: Bankruptcy is simple in some respects and complicated in others. Papers must be filed with the court (38-60 pages depending on your situation) describing your debts, income, property, past income, among other things. There are a number of obligations the filer must fulfill to get the benefit of a bankruptcy tell the truth; supply documentation about your debts, income, taxes, and vehicle; attend a meeting of the creditors; and take the pre-filing and post-filing counseling courses. Assuming you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and do al of the above along with any other requirements, you would likely be able to keep your car as long you can afford it, and maintain the payments and the insurance. A chapter 7 would eliminate your credit card and medical bills. It is very possible you can start re-building your credit immediately (especially if you keep the car current) and will be able to have credit cards soon after filing. I do advise my clients to avoid the first credit card offers post-bankruptcy as they are quite expensive; a better plan "for emergencies" is to build up a savings account with 2 to 6 months expenses which you can use for emergencies (without fees or charges). Once you eliminate your credit cards, you should be able to devote some of your resources to building up this fund.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Law Offices of James Wingfield
    Law Offices of James Wingfield | James Wingfield
    In Massachusetts, your car cannot be repossessed simply because you have filed for bankruptcy, but only if there is a payment default. As long as you continue to make your monthly payments, the lender cannot take the car away from you. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy there is a risk of having assets taken by the Trustee on behalf of your bankruptcy estate to pay something to creditors. However, there are exemptions for some personal property, including a specific exemption for an automobile, which will protect a portion of the equity in the vehicle. Since you purchased the car a year ago, there is likely very little value beyond what you owe to the Bank, so it can probably be protected with an exemption.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    THOMAS G. GILL, P.A. | Thomas G Gill
    In most cases you can keep your car as long as you remain current on the payments. You'll receive credit card offers shortly after receiving your discharge. You can file chapter 7 once every 8 years.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    Bankruptcy can seem complicated to non-lawyers, but there are a few (sometimes) simple concepts to keep in mind. You can keep your car in Ohio if it is worth $3,450.00 or less. If it has a loan on it, you can keep the car I, after you subtract what you owe from the street value of the car, it is worth less than $3,450.00. Your attorney should explain this and claim the proper exemption on the petition. You should also be aware that you could have too much income to be eligible for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In my part of Ohio that's $40,471.00 for a single guy with no dependents. Your attorney will check that also. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Sanders Law, P.A. | Andre Keith Sanders
    Yes, you can keep your car and just need to reaffirm the debt, which is basically signing a new contract to resume the terms of the loan. Based on what you're saying, you shouldn't have any issues filing as long as you don't have any undisclosed assets worth a considerable amount other than ones that are protected such as retirement accounts, most insurances, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Walden & Pfannenstiel, LLC : Kansas City Bankrutpcy Attorneys
    Walden & Pfannenstiel, LLC : Kansas City Bankrutpcy Attorneys | Malissa L. Walden
    A Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the collection and liquidation of non-exempt assets. The proceeds of the non-exempt assets are distributed to your unsecured creditors. A Trustee will be appointed to your bankruptcy case to administer your bankruptcy estate. The Trustee will sell any non-exempt property for the benefit of your unsecured creditors. An automatic stay will go into effect upon filing stopping: car repossessions, garnishments, foreclosures, telephone calls, and civil actions filed by creditors attempting to receive a judgment. Secured creditors will have the opportunity to request a lift of the automatic stay. A debtor who cooperates fully with the Trustee and is honest should receive a discharge of their eligible debts. If you are current on your car, there is no reason for it to be taken. As for getting credit cards - you will be able to get them, but it is probably best that you don't.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    As long as you make enough money to pay the car payment, you can file bankruptcy and just reaffirm the car (agree to keep making the payments and if you don't they can repo is, just like now). The only problem would be if you had too much equity in your car, but generally if someone is still making payments, they don't have equity or what equity they have is covered by the various exemptions available to debtors in bankruptcy. And generally you don't have to wait 6-10 yrs for a credit card, many people get one with a small balance right after they discharge their bankruptcy because the credit card companies know that you can't go bankrupt again right away and you just got rid of all your debt. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    The Stockman Law Office | Mary Stockman Esq.
    You choose what you keep. And you should be able to obtain new credit within one year, purchase a vehicle after the discharge, and a home after 3 years.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    Generally, you are able to keep your car in bankruptcy but you must continue to make your car payments even after the bankruptcy if you wish to keep it.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law | Gregory J. Wald
    You can keep your possessions as long as they are exempt. There is an exemption for your vehicle. In the typical bankruptcy case, a person is able to keep their vehicle as long as they continue to make their car loan payments.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Bankruptcy, done right, will likely save your car and eliminate your other debts. Done right means hiring a lawyer. Filing pro se, you run a greater risk with things going wrong.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy
    Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy | David Leibowitz
    Your question is very broad. But you get to keep up to $2400 equity in a car plus up to $4000 more if you choose to use your "wild-card" exemption. If you make payments on a car which has no equity, you can keep it too. You'll get credit again some day. Are you sure you want to file bankruptcy for only $10k in debt?
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Mazyar Hedayat and Associates
    Mazyar Hedayat and Associates | Mazyar Malek Hedayat
    Everyone has assets, but they are not always of value to third-parties. For instance, your car has a particularly high value to you because you use it to get to work, etc. But what would its value be to a third-party who didnt need another car? Not as high, right? Bankruptcy law also imposes an Automatic Stay that prevents creditors from taking action against your assets, and exempts selected assets altogether. In the case of vehicles, Illinois allows each debtor (up to 2 in joint cases) to exempt up to $2,800 of the value of a vehicle. Since most cars are financed and cars depreciate very quickly anyway, losing your vehicle is seldom an issue.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You get to keep the car, as long as you reaffirm the debt and keep making the payments. Avoid credit card debt in the future. It is like an addiction. When you add up the interest, you are paying a lot for why you buy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If you file for bankruptcy and make your car payments, you can keep your car. As long as you continue to make your car payment you are able to retain your car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    You've essentially got it right.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Law offices of John P. Brooke | John Brooke
    Your question is a very broad and complicated one if your are asking in general how does a chapter 7 bankruptcy work. Your best bet is to speak with a local, experienced bankruptcy attorney. You will be able to keep your car just as long as you do not have over the equity exemption that you are allowed. Bankruptcy does stay on your credit report for up to 10 years but you can only file a chapter 7 once every eight years so the credit card issuers will almost immediately start to offer you new credit cards. They know you can't file again any time soon and want to get you in debt all over again.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Canty Law Firm
    Canty Law Firm | Timothy Canty
    If your car has less than $5000 in equity, you can keep it. If it has more than that, you might have to work out a deal with the trustee for the non-exempt portion. You will be able to get cards fairly quickly after your discharge, but I would advise you to learn to live without them. Use a debit card with a small credit line for emergencies only.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Bankruptcy will not cause the loss of your car unless the car's equity exceeds the applicable exemption limit. In Colorado, the limit is $5000 equity (unless you are disabled, then it's $10,000).
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    Whether you qualify for bankruptcy and for which chapter depends on several things. Your income, your living expenses and the value of your assets. You need to talk to a bankruptcy attorney
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2012
    Park Law Offices LLC | Kevin Parks
    You need to set up a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney to evaluate all your options. The intricacies of the bankruptcy code are many, and there's no way to easily answer simply 'how it works.' Just in the few facts you describe, there's not a strong indication that you'd need to declare bankruptcy. Of course, that's not definitive one way or another, as everyone's situation is different. But, at best, it sounds like a bankruptcy would save you maybe $10k in debt and the interest on that, but it'll also cost you some money likely for an attorney, and then it will also likely have a significant effect in other ways, not just your ability to get credit cards.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/4/2012
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