If I file for bankruptcy can me and my wife keep both our cars and home? 23 Answers as of June 11, 2013

Me and my wife lost our jobs 6 months ago and we have maxed out our credit cards and our savings are totally gone. If we file for bankruptcy can we lose our cars and home?

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
You have to make your house and car payments. Besides that, your answer depends on what state you live in and how much your house and cars are worth.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 12/22/2010
Carballo Law Offices
Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
Whether you can keep anything in bankruptcy depends on the availability of an exemption for the property you want to keep. There are exemptions under California law that apply to federal bankruptcy cases and there are also additional federal exemptions as for retirement plans. There are California exemptions for vehicles and a home among many other types of exemptions but they all have dollar limits. The exemption for a home also depends on your age since people over 65 can exempt more equity in a home ($175,000). Therefore, without knowing the value of your cars and home (after subtracting the liens against them such as mortgages) it would be impossible to tell what you can or cannot keep.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/21/2010
DiTocco Law Group, PLLC
DiTocco Law Group, PLLC | Tony DiTocco
In Florida, your homestead is usually an exempt or protected asset in bankruptcy. However, Bankruptcy will not necessarily save your home from a mortgage foreclosure.

As far as your cars, in Florida you would each get to keep $1000 of vehicle equity. In other words, if your car is worth $8000 and you owe $7500, the car is a protected asset from everyone except the car lender. There are many variations on this situation. For instance, if you choose not to exempt your home, the $1000 of allowable equity can increase to $5000.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/21/2010
Stuart Jon Bierman  Attorney at Law
Stuart Jon Bierman Attorney at Law | Stuart Jon Bierman
It depends upon a few variables, such as if there is any equity is in the house, but usually if a person keeps making the payments on a timely basis then they keep their house and cars. I would have to talk with you to have a more definite opinion and would be glad to meet with you if you would like to do so.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 12/16/2010
Mankus & Marchan, LTD
Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may keep all your assets, provided that you propose a feasible plan of repayment which takes into account the equity in your non-exempt assets and your net earnings. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Trustee becomes the owner of all your property, other than the amounts that are legally exempt. In Illinois, for example, a Debtor and his spouse have a homestead exemption of $15,000.00 each, and a $2,400.00 exemption each for a vehicle, or vehicles. If you have equity in your home or your car(s) beyond the exempt amounts, the Trustee may sell those assets, or offer to let you keep them for some negotiated amount. Usually, the Trustee will not sell the assets unless the equity in those assets is well beyond the exempt amounts, because of the costs and expenses associated with selling the assets.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/16/2010
    Law Offices of Lady Justice
    Law Offices of Lady Justice | Mona Patel
    Yes you can keep your cars and your homes. It is called a reaffirmation agreement where you agree to continue paying your car loan and mortgage loan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    Depending on the values and the mortgages or debt against the house and cars. Figure your net equity, which is the FMV less the debt. Then you may be under the Homestead Exemption and the Personal Property Exemption.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    If you can afford to continue to make the payments on both the vehicles and the home, then you may keep them. If there is too much equity in your home, the trustee may take the property to pay your creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
    David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
    Depends on the jurisdiction you are living, or the previous jurisdiction if you have been at the current state for under 730 days. and it gets more complicated from there. Although bankruptcy is federal law, the states had the option to opt out of the exemption portion and most did. so you are looking to state law in many situations.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You need to see a lawyer experienced in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    George Hoselton Bankruptcy Attorney
    George Hoselton Bankruptcy Attorney | George Hoselton
    Each state has exemptions that allow you to protect a certain amount of equity in a home and vehicle. Check with an attorney in your state to find out if what those exemptions are. There is a possibility you will be able to keep both your home and cars depending on those exemptions and if you can afford the payments.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law | Steven D. Keist
    Yes, if you are current and if the equity in your vehicles does not exceed $10,000. Now if it does,

    that does not mean you will lose your vehicles, it simply means that you should consider filing

    a Chapter 13 rather than a Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    DiManna Law Office, LLC.
    DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
    In New Hampshire, you can usually retain a home and a car per individual, but it will depend on your specific circumstances and equity status in the home and cars.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Robert Peters, P.A.
    Robert Peters, P.A. | Robert L. Peters
    It depends. If you owe money on the cars that is actually a good thing. As long as you can make your payments you are fine. If you have equity in your cars ie they are worth more than you owe, you MAY have to work it out with the bk court. You need to speak with an attorney. Everyones situation is different. I would be glad to meet with you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Henry, DeGraaff & McCormick, P.S. | Jacob DeGraaff
    The bankruptcy code and Washington state law provide exemptions for certain property items in bankruptcy. Depending on the value of these items, you may be able to keep all of them. If you have little equity in your home, the chances are better that you can protect your interest in your home and your vehicles.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi | Brian H. Nomi
    Yes, most likely you can keep both, while wiping out the credit card debt. It's well worth it for you to consult with a bankruptcy attorney on this subject.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Law Office of Raymond J. Dague, PLLC
    Law Office of Raymond J. Dague, PLLC | Raymond J. Dague
    Usually a married couple can keep two cars provided they have not more than $2400 each of equity.

    A house can be kept by a married couple if the house has less than $100,000 of equity.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    It depends on the equity in these assets.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    It is possible that you can lose your vehicles and your home. While there are exemptions to certain property, if you are still owing money on items you wish to keep, you will have to demonstrate that you can make payments when the bankruptcy case is closed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    That depends on the values/equity you have in these assets and what exemptions you have available under applicable law, which is usually determined by where you have lived for the past 2 years. You need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to properly assess your risks and benefits.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    You can file for bankruptcy and keep your cars and home if 1) you can afford to pay them and 2) there is no unprotected equity in them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    The Shakoori Law Group
    The Shakoori Law Group | Rachelle Shakoori
    Depends on the value and whether you are making the payments and the type of chapter you are filing. If there is too much equity and you file a chapter 7 the trustee can liquidate nonexempt amount of the property. Speak to an attorney because there are many factors involved.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney