Can I keep my car and file for bankruptcy? 36 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I have a car and I want to see if I can file for bankruptcy. I currently have $32,000 in credit card bills and $15,000 in student loans.

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Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
It depends on the value of the car. Is it paid off or do you owe money on it? What other property do you need to exempt? Please get a consultation with a knowledgeable local bankruptcy attorney. Your student loans will generally not be discharged in bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/19/2011
Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
Whether you can keep your car depends on whether you file a Chapter or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and also the equity in the car. In a Chapter 13 there is no problem keeping the car, regardless of value. But a 13 involves you making payments to a trustee for 3 to 5 years. In an Ohio Chapter 7 your debts are discharged and you can keep 1 car that has less than $3,450 of equity in it. That is, the car is allowed to be worth $3,450 more than you owe on it. Your spouse can also keep a similar car if it's in her name.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 10/19/2011
Law Office of Todd M. Gers, PLC
Law Office of Todd M. Gers, PLC | Todd Gers
For the most part you will be able to keep your vehicle if you can objectively afford the payment, whether it be leased or financed. I would need more specific information to give you a better answer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/19/2011
Law Office of Yvonne Michaud Novak
Law Office of Yvonne Michaud Novak | Yvonne Michaud Novak
A bankruptcy does not prevent you from keeping your car. However, depending on your lending institution and the attorney that you work with, there may be other factors that affect your ability to keep your car. As each situation is fact specific, please contact a local bankruptcy attorney to set up an appointment and go over your situation.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 10/18/2011
Guardian Law Group PLLC
Guardian Law Group PLLC | C. David Hester
Student loans are not dischargable. Your credit card bills are if you qualify, depending on your family size and income. You would likely be able to keep your car, depending on equity and value of the vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 10/18/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Generally in most cases you can file for bankruptcy and keep your car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2011
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You can file for bankruptcy with a car, however, you will have to discuss with your attorney how much of the equity in your car is exempt. Your credit card debt will be dischargeable but your student loans will not be dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/18/2011
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    I assume you are thinking about Chapter 7. If car is paid for you can keep up to $5000 in equity. If car has a loan you can keep it if you keep making payments. Student loans are not dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/18/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Assuming that either you can exempt any equity you have in your car, or as is more often is the case, you owe more than it's worth, as long as you can make the payments and stay current, you can generally keep the car. By the way, you mentioned student loans, it is almost impossible to discharge student loans, but getting rid of that amount of credit card debt I am sure would help tremendously. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/18/2011
    Weig Law Firm, LLC
    Weig Law Firm, LLC | Paul H. Weig
    There are "Exemptions" certain things that the legislature has determined you don't have to give up in order to get a fresh start. These exemptions include one car, but only a car of modest value $4800 +/- of Equity. If you are eligible to use the Federal exemptions you can use the so-called "wild card" exemption to exempt equity above the exempt amount. If you have to use Minnesota exemptions and your car is worth too much the Trustee may bring an action to make you turn it over so he can sell it and pay you the exempt amount and pay off theloan and distribute the rest of the proceeds to creditors. That is not profitable for the trustee unless the car is worth a lot and paid of or nearly paid off. In most cases like that the debtor will settle the claim with the trustee by paying a money settlement of what the trustee can reasonably hope to realize by the turnover and sale. The exempt amount is equity - if you owe on the car you probably have nothing to worry about. The lender may ask you to reaffirm the loan, but that's a different question.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/18/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    Yes, you can. You should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/18/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Certain property can be claimed exempt in a bankruptcy and can be kept. Consult an attorney in your situation as to whether your property is exempt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Law Offices of James Wingfield
    Law Offices of James Wingfield | James Wingfield
    Typically you can keep your car if you file for bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code provides an exemption for up to $3,450.00 of equity in your car. If that is not enough, there may be wildcard exemptions available to protect the equity in your car. Alternatively, in Massachusetts you can protect up to $7,000.00 of equity in one car. You should discuss the value of your car and all of your other possessions with your attorney to determine the right exemption strategy to protect your assets. If you are currently paying toward a loan on your car, you can continue to make the payments during and after the bankruptcy if you want to keep the car. In Massachusetts, a creditor cannot repossess the car absent a material breach such as non-payment, so filing a bankruptcy (and even discharging your personal liability under the car loan) is not enough to allow the lender to repossess your vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Law Office Of Magnolia Zarraga
    Law Office Of Magnolia Zarraga | Magnolia Zarraga
    You can keep your car in bankruptcy. The law allows you to keep making your payments on your car and keep it in bankruptcy. If the car is paid free and clear the law allows you to protect it and keep it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    The Merna Law Group, PC
    The Merna Law Group, PC | John G. Merna
    Without more details about your vehicle such as the value and amount of any liens I am unable to answer the question. The best information I can provide for you is that you have a $6000 vehicle exemption for one vehicle in Virginia and an additional $5,000 homestead exemption that could be applied to the value if necessary. To determine if your vehicle will be fully protected you should contact a bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    There are exemptions for property in bankruptcy petitions which may allow you to keep your car. The determination of which exemptions apply to your case is best determined by your bankruptcy attorney. Your student loans, however, are not eligible to be discharged in bankruptcy except under extreme circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Douglas W. Harold, Jr.
    Whether you can keep your car will depend on the net value of the car and what other assets you may also have.Net value is the difference between the value of the car and the amount owed on it - if it is worth less than what you owe, then you should be able to keep it, provided that you are up to date on your payments.Of course, if you are driving a luxury car or an extremely expensive one, the bankruptcy trustee may decide that you don't need to be spending so much money on car payments and that some of that money could be used to pay off some of your debts through a Chapter 13 plan. If the car is worth more than what you owe, then under Virginia law you can keep up to $6,000 net value in the vehicle under the Poor Debtors Exemption; any value above that amount would have to be exempted (along with other assets of yours) under the Homestead Exemption.Most people are able to keep their cars under the recently-adopted more generous motor vehicle exemption under the Poor Debtors Exemption law.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Canty Law Firm
    Canty Law Firm | Timothy Canty
    Whether you can keep your car depends on several factors: -if it's worth less than $5000 it's exempt from all claims - if it is worth more than $5000 but has a lien on it so that the equity is no more than $5000, you can keep it but must keep paying the lien. -if it's worth less than what you owe, we can probably lower your car payment in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 -if you have more than $5000 in equity we can usually make a deal that will allow you to keep it -if you or a member of your family is either over 60 or disabled, the exemption doubles to $10,000 -the credit cards are dischargeable, but student loans are not unless you are totally disabled.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You probably can. Unless it is a really expensive car you own free and clear.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Raxter Law
    Raxter Law | Jeremiah Raxter
    Generally you can exempt your car from the bankruptcy proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Law Offices of Robert P. Taylor
    Law Offices of Robert P. Taylor | Robert P. Taylor
    More than likely. Of course, if there's a loan on your car you'll have to pay it. If your car's worth more than your allowed to keep, you may have to surrender it or pay the difference. Can't say more without knowing a lot more about your circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    The Law Offices of Katie M. Stone
    The Law Offices of Katie M. Stone | Katie M. Stone
    Whether you can keep your car depends on a lot of factors. Do you own a home that you plan on keeping? Do you own your car free and clear or are you making payments on it? Are you the only one on the title? Whether you can keep your car is not a yes or no answer. It depends on which chapter of bankruptcy you file, how much the car is worth and whether you have the exemptions available to exempt out the equity. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss your rights in bankruptcy. Most attorney's will offer a free initial consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Harris
    Law Office of Andrew Harris | Andrew Harris
    As long as you don't have more than $3,000 in equity on your car, it'll be no problem keeping it in bankruptcy. This is the case, whether you own it outright or are making payments on it. If you have much more than $3,000 in equity, or you are filing Ch. 13 instead of a Chapter 7 (based on your short debt summary, it appears you'd be filing a chapter 7), then it'll be something to discuss with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC | Duncan T Pham
    Yes, but the question is can you keep your car after bankruptcy ?
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Batten & Beasley
    Batten & Beasley | Daniel Batten
    It depends on the equity in the car. You can exempt a certain portion of the equity. Most people are able to keep their car.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    You can keep your car. However there are a couple of things to consider. 1) if you have a loan on it, you will still need to pay on the loan to keep the vehicle; 2) if you have more than $5,000 equity in the vehicle then you may need to pay the court some money in order to keep the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You may be able to keep your car. A thorough review of your income and post bankruptcy debts will need to be made for a better answer can be provided, however.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Yes you can.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Most debtors keep their motor vehicles in bankruptcy. It depends on how much equity you have in the vehicle. Contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    Yes, you can keep a car that has less than $5,000 of equity when you file bankruptcy. Equity is the amount of the car after you subtract any loan from the car's market value. For example, if the car is worth $7,500 and you have a car loan for $4,000, then you have equity of $3,500, which is less than $5,000 and you can keep your car even though you filed bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Saedi Law Group
    Saedi Law Group | Lorena Saedi
    I am assuming you are inquiring regarding a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in which you discharge all of your unsecured debts. You may be able to retain your car if you are current on your account and if you are not over the allowable Georgia exemptions in personal property.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Jakob-Barnes Law Firm, LLC
    Jakob-Barnes Law Firm, LLC | Jennifer Jakob-Barnes
    Whether you can keep you car or not depends on what type of bankruptcy you are filing, whether there is equity in your car, and whether you are current on your vehicle. If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and are current on your vehicle and there is no equity, you usually can keep your vehicle. If you are filing for a Chapter 13, you can pay for your vehicle through the Chapter 13 and keep the vehicle. Hiring an attorney to represent you would be your best option. They can tell you what type of bankruptcy would be best for your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/17/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Depends. What amount of equity do you have in the vehicle? What other assets do you have?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    That would depend on what your car is worth, what state you are filing in, and what amount, if any equity you have in a car. Most debtors are able to keep their cars.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/17/2011
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