Can you keep your vehicle if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? 37 Answers as of July 30, 2011

Im heavily considering filing ch 7. My car payment is the one bill I have kept current and don't want to loose It because I need transportation. When filing ch 7 are you able to keep your vehicle?

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Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
You are able to keep your vehicle but will likely have to list what your intention will be on the vehicle, ie: do you wish to redeem it, reaffirm it, etc.. You will also need to make sure that any equity in the vehicle is exempt, otherwise you could risk losing the asset. If you have concerns about how to protect the asset, you should contact a bankruptcy attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/25/2011
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/25/2011
Bankruptcy Law Center
Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
Applies to Chapter 7 bankruptcy using Colorado exemptions: Most debtors get to keep their motor vehicles in a chapter 7 bankruptcy filed in Colorado. Just keep the loan current and as long as the equity in the vehicle doesn't exceed the Colorado exemption limits, you get to keep the vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/25/2011
Dearbonn Law Offices
Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
You can file for bankruptcy and exempt the vehicle. If you exempt it, you will be able to keep it.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/24/2011
The Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm
The Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm | Thomas A McAvity
Generally yes. Most state exemptions cover at least a few thousand in car equity and most people who have car loans rarely have close to that.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/24/2011
    Lehn Law, PA
    Lehn Law, PA | Joseph W. Lehn
    Under the right circumstances a person who files a chapter 7 bankruptcy is able to keep their vehicle. I would advise that you contact an attorney to discuss whether or not you qualify to keep your vehicle without owing the bankruptcy court any money or to determine your other vehicle options. .
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    You can keep your car when you file Chapter 7 so long as (a) you can continue to make the payments on the car loan, if any and (b) you have enough left in your exemptions to cover the equity in your car. To apply these principals to the facts of your case, call me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Everett Walton, Attorney at Law
    Everett Walton, Attorney at Law | Everett Walton
    You can keep your vehicle by entering into a reaffirmation agreement and making your payments.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Yes, you keep it so long as you pay for it and reaffirm the debt on the vehicle. I am assuming you don't have a huge amount if equity in it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    It depends on what else you have. If you don't have a house, then you can elect the standard bankruptcy exemptions and protect up to $18,675 of equity in property, including your vehicle. If you own a house then you can elect the California Homestead provision and protect up to $75,000 (if you're single) of equity in the house and, if the equity in your vehicle is less than $2,300 you can keep it. You can figure out the equity by looking up the value on kbb.com. If the equity is substantially more than that then the bankruptcy trustee will sell it, give you the $2,300 and pay the rest to your creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    You can keep you vehicle so long as the payments are current (at least in Oregon). However, you need to review your state's exemption rules to ensure that the equity is not so high that a court would take an interest in the car.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    Yes you can keep your car if it falls under the exception status in new York which is now $4000 net equity. You need to consult a lawyer though with all the detail to get accurate advice.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Offices of Carol M. Galloway, P.A.
    Law Offices of Carol M. Galloway, P.A. | Carol Galloway
    Your question asks whether you can retain a financed vehicle if you file a Chapter 7. I am assuming the loan is in your name, and there is no equity in the vehicle. Under your scenario, the answer is "yes," you can keep your vehicle if you file a chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Yes, generally as long as you can pay the car payment, you get to keep the vehicle. There are some people who have too many valuable possessions they may have to give something up, but usually car are worth less than you owe on them so you get to keep them.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If you have any equity you will need to be able to use an exemption to cover the value. If exempt, you should be able to keep the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    Whether you can keep your vehicle in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on how much it is worth and how much equity (value minus car loans) you have in the vehicle. If the equity is less then the state exemption ($5,000 in Colorado for a single filer for instance) then you can keep the car. If it exceeds the exemption amount then the Trustee may take the car and sell it to obtain the extra value.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Raxter Law
    Raxter Law | Jeremiah Raxter
    Yes, you will be able to exempt your vehicle. You will need to consult a Bankruptcy attorney so the petition can correctly reflect your desires. Good luck, and I wish you the best!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    Yes. You may have to reaffirm the debt, but you should be able to keep it if you continue making payments.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Ariano & Reppucci
    Ariano & Reppucci | Chris Ariano
    Yes - though there are some restrictions. An individual debtor filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Arizona is allowed a motor vehicle exemption of $5,000. This means you are allowed to keep a vehicle worth up to $5,000 when you file. You can determine equity in your vehicle by taking the estimated value of the vehicle (I recommend that clients simply go to www.kbb.com and research the resale value of their vehicle) and subtract any loans against the vehicle. Please contact me for more information on possible ways to keep your vehicle when filing if you determine that you have more than $5,000 in equity. Have a nice day.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    When you file a Chapter 7 case you can enter into an agreement with your lender to continue paying for your car. This agreement is called a Reaffirmation Agreement. You cannot force a creditor to allow you to reaffirm a debt. However, creditors want to be paid and if you are current, have insurance, and can make the future payments, there is no reason for the creditor not to allow you to reaffirm. The one issue that you need to address is the value of the car versus the amount owed. If you have equity in the vehicle, you will need to use your exemptions to prevent the car from being sold by the Chapter 7 trustee.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Offices of Iman Abouelazm, P.A.
    Law Offices of Iman Abouelazm, P.A. | Iman I. Abouelazm
    Your car loan is considered a secured debt as it is secured by your car. Generally, in Chapter 7, a Debtor's choices with regards to secured debt is to (1) surrender the property and discharge the debt; (2) retain the property and reaffirm the debt and continue to pay it off; (3) "redeem" the property for what its current market value. Redemption involves statutory requirements and procedures. Because most Chapter 7 debtors have expenses more than their income, the Court wants an explanation how the Debtor can overcome this presumption of undue hardship; in other words, how the Debtor can afford to keep the payment. Keeping assets in Chapter 7 is usually not a problem unless there is equity involved that may benefit the Bankruptcy Estate. * NOTE: This is a general answer to your question. You should consult with an attorney about your specific case for accurate and reliable legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It depends on the value of the car, the amount of debt, your other income, your other assets, your other debts and other factors. The best way to keep it is to file with a lawyer. You will hit additional barriers to retention of a car without counsel (in this district the court has separate procedures for pro se debtors and debtors with lawyers).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Breckenridge and Walton
    Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
    Yes if you can afford the payments.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    Every state has different exemption amts, you will likely be able to exempt it
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    In most cases you are able to keep you vehicle after filing bankruptcy. If you have no equity in your vehicle you may keep it. Also if you jurisdiction allows automobile exemptions or wild card exemptions, you may be able to protect your vehicle that way.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Florio Law Firm, PLLC
    Florio Law Firm, PLLC | Amber Morgan Florio, Attorney at Law
    YES! Sincerely,
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    Yes, but you must remain current. So, it does not seem it would be a problem to you. After you file for bankruptcy protection, the lender will send a "reaffirmation" agreement to your attorney for your signature, which allows you to keep the vehicle but also the debt secured by the vehicle. Once that is signed and filed with the Court, your situation as to the car is the same as it would have been had you not filed bankruptcy that is, you still owe for the vehicle and if you fail to pay it can be repossessed and you can be billed for the deficiency, if any.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Dan Shay Law
    Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
    Yes, the general rule is that if you want to keep a car, you just keep paying for it and you can keep it. Also look into 722 Redemption.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
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