Can I keep my car and house if I file chapter 7? 35 Answers as of July 04, 2013

My home is paid for in full (used to be my parents home), I owe $3k on my roughly $15k car.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
There are exceptions new York that differ for each county. You need to consult a lawyer that can for free give an initial consultation. It is very possible you can keep everything.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/24/2011
Robert Peters, P.A.
Robert Peters, P.A. | Robert L. Peters
The general rule is that Florida homestead law protects your home from the claims of creditors. There are exceptions so talk to an attorney. The status of your car is more complicated. It depends on who owns your car. For example if you own it with your wife and its titled as husband and wife and your wife is not filing it is an exempt asset as it is owned by the marital entiity. If you own it or you own it with your wife then you will likely have to enter into a buy back with the trustee to keep it. You need to consult with an attorney. My book is attached which may be of some assistance.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/22/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
You can likely use property exemptions to protect your car and home
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/22/2011
Rosenberg & Press
Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
It is unlikely that you have enough exemptions to cover the car and home. You can exempt roughly $75,000.00 of your home's equity and approximately and about $3,500 of your car equity. If you own more equity than this you can try to apply the wildcard but otherwise you should not file.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/4/2013
Guerrieri & Cox
Guerrieri & Cox | Michael A. Cox
If your house is worth around $21,625 (your homestead exemption in Ohio) per owner who resides in the house, then you could likely keep the house. Otherwise, the trustee could seek to sell your house to pay creditors with the non-exempt proceeds from the sale. Your car would need further evaluation too because you can perhaps exempt $4,600 (a wildcard exemption of $1,150 plus auto exemption of $3,450) for the car, and the non-exempt value of the car likely could result in the trustee taking the vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/22/2011
    The Port Law Firm
    The Port Law Firm | Edward Port
    In determining if you can keep your home in a chapter 7 it all depends on when you received ownership, and how long you have lived in Florida. Also, Florida only allows you to protect $1,000 in a vehicle. In your example, $14,000 would be unprotected and a Trustee ion a chapter 7 may request turnover of the vehicle. Depending on your circumstances you may consider filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy wherein you may be able to keep your car. My advice is to visit with an attorney who will sit with you and advise you specifically. Sincerely, Edward N. Port DISCLAIMER The information in this reply does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon for any bankruptcy planning purposes. Bankruptcy planning is necessarily very circumstance-specific and therefore the reply is only intended to educate. Additionally, the information given in this reply is not meant to be a substitute for legal representation. You should consult with a local attorney regarding your suitability for the information stated herein under your local laws. The Port Law Firm, PA shall not be considered your attorneys until a fully-executed client retainer agreement is executed. Further, any tax consequences that may incur in the implementation of the strategies herein should be reviewed by an independent professional tax advisor. Nothing in this reply should be construed to be any advertisement for legal services directed to a state wherein The Port Law Firm, PA is not admitted to practice. Nothing in this reply is any substitute for the services of a licensed attorney in the relevant jurisdiction. The Port Law Firm, PA does not practice in any jurisdiction unless one of its attorneys has been admitted to practice there, or an attorney of the firm has been properly admitted pro hac vice according to the local court rules of that state.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    In Colorado, most debtors keep their house and cars after filing chapter 7 bankrupty, but your case is likely to have problems. As to your home, it all depends on the value of your home. Colorado exemption law allows for a $60,000 exemption for a homestead ($90,000 if you are elderly or disabled). As to your car, Colorado exemption law generally allows a $5000 exemption ($10,000 if elderly or disabled), but this amount may be doubled if car is kept and used by debtor and spouse. Car may also qualify as tool of trade with a larger exemption. If you have significant excess equity beyond the exemption amounts in your house or car, chapter 13 bankruptcy may be your only option in keeping these assets in bankrupty.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    It depends on how old you are, whether you are married and how much the house is worth. If single and less than 65 the equity in the house is exempt up to $75,000. If married, $100,000. If either spouse is over 65 $175,000. Equity in a motor vehicle is exempt to the extent of $2,300. Just guessing about the equity in your house, and for sure on your car, both would be sold in bankruptcy, and you would receive the proceeds to the extent of the applicable exemptions. If you have steady income you may wish to consider a Chapter 13, which would allow you to keep both, but make payments to your creditors over 3-5 years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    It's up to the judge and the value of both items.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    Yes, but you may have to pay for the equity in the car if there are no exemptions.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    A lot will depend on what the value of the assets are and what you have for exemptions. Chapter 13 may be better. Please contact an attorney to protect yourself and evaluate your options.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Florio Law Firm, PLLC
    Florio Law Firm, PLLC | Amber Morgan Florio, Attorney at Law
    This depends on what State you live in. It is likely that you will not have a problem keeping your home in a Bankruptcy, regardless of which Chapter you choose to file. Texas exemptions provide an UNLIMITED homestead exemption, which means that no matter what the value of your home, since you own it, you are entitled to keep it. Other states have a cap on how much your home can be worth and still be able to keep it. If you live in a state that has a cap on the homestead exemption, you will only be protected up to that amount. You should determine the fair market value of the home, and then find out what your state's exemption is. If you live in Texas, your home is exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    Yes, if your home is in Texas, you occupy it as your principal residence, and it is 10 acres or less with all improvements in a city, or 100 acres or less with all improvements in the country (200 acres for a family), then you can claim it as homestead pursuant to Texas law. Please hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you. There are some "provisos" or possible exceptions that were passed into law in 2005 that could affect you, that are too complicated to mention here. Yes, you can claim $30,000 of equity in personal property as exempt, including the equity in your vehicle, but you will need to continue to pay for it, and you may need to sign a Reaffirmation Agreement during the bankruptcy, in order to retain the vehicle. Your attorney will be able to advise and assist you with that.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Mankus & Marchan, LTD
    Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
    Chapter 7 is liquidation bankruptcy. All your assets - beyond the allowable exemptions - become property of the Trustee. In Illinois, the exemption for a residence is $15,000.00 ($30,000.00 if it is owned jointly with a spouse), and the exemption for a vehicle is $2,400.00. Therefore, the Chapter 7 Trustee would probably sell both your home and your car and pay you the exemption amounts. If you need to file bankruptcy, Chapter 13 may be a better option, although you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney as there are many other issues to consider.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Depending on the value of your home you can probably exempt it by utlizing 704 exemptions. The car may be more difficult. You need to see an attorney rather than blindly filing your own case.Steven Dunnings
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You most likely you should file a Chapter 13. You need to see a lawyer. Your homestead exemption maxes out at 175k if you are over 65. It is 75,000.00 if you are single or 100,000.00 if you are married and you both live there.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Lake Forest Bankruptcy
    Lake Forest Bankruptcy | Anerio V. Altman, Esq.
    If that's all you owe, you should not be filing BK at all. If any attorney wants to file your case based on these facts, get a second opinion.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    Usually the answer is yes. Miss has a $75000 homestead exemption which would play in the ch7trustee's decision re abandoning the house.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    That depends on the value of your house and whether you are single, married, with minor dependents, handicapped or very low income. You need to get a good estimate of the value of your house and consult with a lawyer. Whether or not you can protect your case will depend on the type of exemption you will need to use to protect the equity in your house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    What assets you can keep depends on their values, amount of equity, what bankruptcy chapter you file, and exemptions you have available under applicable law. Exemption laws are based on the state where you resided for the 2 years prior to filing your bankruptcy case or, if you lived in more than 1 state during that period, in the state where you resided for the greater part of the 180 days prior to that 2 year period.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Based on the numbers you just posted, the court would presumably take your home and car and sell both to pay creditors. In Georgia you are limited to $10K equity in a home and $3500 in a car.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    it depends on the value of your house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    You would have to determine how much equity you have in your home in order to determine if there would be enough exemptions to cover your property (which you say is paid in full) as well as your car which appears to have about $12K in equity. It is possible that there may not be enough in exemptions to allow you to exempt both your house and your car. CA has two sets of exemptions that you can choose from, and because there are these two sets of exemptions, you cannot use the federal exemptions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Fears & Nachawati Law Firm
    Fears & Nachawati Law Firm | C. Bryan Fears
    Yes, typically your house and car are exempt (protected).
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    It's cases like yours that break my heart. VA only allows you to keep $5,000 equity in a house (double if you're over 65), and $6,000 in a car. So Ch. 7 wouldn't work for you unless the house won't sell. (You could test it by putting it on the market for a month and see what you get for offers; you wouldn't have to accept any.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    What you can keep in Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on the applicable "exemptions" available to you when you file. The more equity you have in a house, vehicle or personal property, the more likely it is that it would be subject to seizure and liquidation in a Chapter7.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    If you own your house outright and have substantial equity in an automobile you may want to consider chapter 13. A chapter 7 is a liquidation of assets except for those assets that are exempt under section 704 of the Code of Civil Procedure which protects a limited amount of equity.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    A Chapter 7 filing will not be approripate in Colorado. If your home is worth more than $60,000 then you wil lose it in bankruptcy. Your will also lose the car unless you can pay the Trustee for the roughly $7,000 in non-exempt equity. The amount you are allowed to exempt varies depending on the states you have lived in prior to filing. If your debt is overwhelming, you may want to explore a Chapter 13 plan. In a Chapter 13 filing the Trustee will not take your property and you will be able to pay creditors for the value of the non-exempt equity over several years. You should speak with an experienced attorney about the specifics of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    The Chapter 7 trustee who is assigned your case when it is filed is charged with the responsibility of liquidating property for the benefit of unsecured creditors. If your house is paid for, you would only be able to protect $5,000 of its value by using your homestead exemption. The trustee would attempt to sell the house to pay off your creditors. Your car would also be at risk given the equity in the vehicle. A Chapter 13 case would allow you to keep your house and car but you would have to pay your creditors at least as much as they would receive if you had filed a Chapter 7 case. You need to speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can evaluate your debts and assets and advise you on how to best protect yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/21/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney