Can I keep my car if I file for bankruptcy? 28 Answers as of January 21, 2013

My car is 10 years old and it's fully paid off. The title is on my name only. Is there a way to keep my car if I file for bankruptcy, since I need it in order to get to work?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
you can exempt it up to your state's allowed amount
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/11/2011
Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
If your car is worth less than $5,000, then yes, you can keep your car even after filing for bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/9/2011
Ray Fisher Law Offices
Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
yes
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/2/2011
Glen A. Kurtis, P.C.
Glen A. Kurtis, P.C. | Glen A. Kurtis
Yes, currently there is a 4000.00 exemption for an auto. So if your car is worth 4k or less it would not be affected by the bankruptcy. If it was worth more, you may have to buy back the excess from the trustee.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/2/2011
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
Yes you can exempt your car form a chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 8/1/2011
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
    Bankruptcy allows people to keep property up to a certain value. These are called exemptions. Whether or not a debtor keeps the car depends on the value of the car compared to the amount of the exemption. There is also something called a "wildcard" exemption that you can add to the car exemption if the car exemption is not enough to protect the car. Exemption amounts change from time to time - The 2011 federal exemption amount for a car is currently $3,450, and the wildcard is another $1,150, and you can also apply up to $10,825 as an additional wildcard.if you don't use it up by exempting a home. As you can see, unless it's a high end late model Mercedes or Rolls Royce, most people get to keep the car in bankruptcy because of the generous federal exemptions. Congress knows you need to get to work - they just don't want you to drive a better car than they drive when you are in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Answer applies to Colorado bankruptcy filings only: Most debtors filing bankruptcy in Colorado get to keep their motor vehicles. Assuming you can file for bankruptcy in Colorado and that you are eligible to use Colorado Exemptions, you generally can claim a $5000 exemption for a motor vehicle (this exemption can be sometimes doubled if vehicle is keep & used by a spouse) . The exemption can be $10,000 if you are elderly or disabled.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    If the car is worth more than $2,500 it could be sold in your bankruptcy. In Utah there is a $2,500 exemption in a car, which means that if the trustee sells the car, he has to pay you the first $2,500 before he can keep any of the proceeds. Trustees sometimes let the debtor "buy back" the equity in the car. For example, if your car is worth $4,000, there is $1,500 in equity above the exemption. The trustee might agree to sell it back to you for that sum.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 1/21/2013
    Breckenridge and Walton
    Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
    If it is worth less than $3450, yes if you use federal exemptions. .
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Believe me, the trustee does not want your car. First of all, it is exempt, meaning you get to keep it. Second, trustees get paid a percentage of what the sell and pay to creditors. There is not enough money in your 10 year old car for them to mess with. In answering this question I am assuming you don't own anything else of significant value.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Felipe A. Malo, P.A.
    Law Office of Felipe A. Malo, P.A. | Felipe Augusto Malo
    It depends on the value if the car U have a 1,000 exemption for vehicles
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    In order to keep property in bankruptcy is must be claim as exempt. Typically, an old car with minimal value would be exempt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    There should be no problem keeping your car. You are entitled to very large exemptions that allow a debtor to keep alot of property including cars. I have filed probably thousands of cases and most people dont lose any property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc.
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc. | Kevin Ryan
    Ohio has a motor vehicle exemption of $3,450.00 and a miscellaneous exemption of $1,150.00 for each debtor in a bankruptcy or collection matter (Ohio Rev. Code 2329.66). You should check the value of the vehicle at www.nada.com, then subtract your exemptions from the fair market value. If the net amount is less than $1,000.00, you can probably keep the vehicle even if you file a Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy. A debtor can retain all real and personal property if filing under Ch 13, so long as the secured creditors are provided for under the plan of reorganization (Ch 13 Plan).
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Lewis Adams and Associates
    Lewis Adams and Associates | Lewis P. Adams
    The State of Utah allows an exemption for vehicles in the amount of $2,500.00. If the value of your car is less than or equal to $2,500.00, it cannot be taken. Trade-in values are a good rule of thumb as to the liquidation value of the vehicle. If the car exceeds that value, there is risk that a trustee may want to sell the car. The risk increases as the value increases. If the car is sold, the trustee must pay you $2,500 from the sale proceeds.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Yes as long as the equity is within what you are able to exempt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    If it is your only car then the answer is Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Whether you are able to keep your car or not is entirely dependent on the applicable "exemptions" available to you when and where you file.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    It depends on the value of the car and if you have an exemption or exemptions available to protect the car. A bankruptcy attorney would be able to tell you if your assets can be protected.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    In VA, you can keep a car with $6,000 in equity.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    You most likely can keep your car if you file bankruptcy. It will depend on what your car is worth and how much bankruptcy exemptions you have available to protect your vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    There is a way to keep your car. You would need to find out the value of the car in its current condition and then determine if you have enough exemptions that will allow you to protect this property in the bankruptcy. Exemptions are found at CA Code Civ Procedure sections 704 & 703. You can only pick one set of exemptions and cannot combine one set with another. Depending upon how many other assets you own and how much in exemptions you have already used will determine if you have enough to cover your car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Grasso Law Group
    Grasso Law Group | Charles Grasso, Esq.
    There are a set of exemptions that are applied when filing bankruptcy. When you exempt your property it does not become part of the bankruptcy and you can keep it. There are however limitations on the amounts you can exempt. If you have only the one car and its value is under $3,525 then you can exempt it under California rules. If your car is worth more than that you still may be able to exempt it using a "wildcard" exemption, but this depends on what other assets are in play and the specific circumstances of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Absolutely. Keep your car, get rid of your debts. A smart move. Thank you,
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    Perhaps.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Maybe. None of the information you gave bears any relation to keeping your car. Whether you can depends completely on the present value of the vehicle. If the vehicle is within your exemptions, usually you can. Your attorney will be able to tell you as to the car (and your other assets).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Braunstein Law, PC
    Braunstein Law, PC | Jacob Braunstein
    If you file for bankruptcy, there is an automobile exemption you can use to protect your vehicle in bankruptcy. In Oregon, an individual debtor can exempt up to $3,000 of the vehicle's value from the bankruptcy estate. This means that, if the vehicle is worth $3,000 or less, the vehicle is protected.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/30/2011
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