If I file for bankruptcy will it take away my car? 31 Answers as of January 21, 2013

I own money on two cars, a ring and some other things of mine. I have over 5000 dollars in collections will the items be taken away and would I still have those collections?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
You can exempt your car up to you state's allowable amount. If you are filing with a spouse, you can do both cars.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
1. If you don't file bankruptcy and owe money on a car, they can take it away (repossess). 2. If you do file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and owe money or a car, they can file for relief with the court and then take it away. 3. If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and owe money on a car, you can start making payments again, and do monthly catch-up payments through the Chapter 13 trustee, while keeping the car (and paying for insurance). This is why people file Chapter 13 - to keep the car and get caught up on payments. Also, if the car was purchased more than 2 1/2 years before the filing, you could also modify the original contract to reduce the balance owed and even lower the interest rate - a major advantage for filing chapter 13. Other items you own would usually be exempt (protected) from collection because the court has a generous amount you get to keep in bankruptcy. All collection activity would stop and be monitored by the court.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 8/24/2011
Lehn Law, PA
Lehn Law, PA | Joseph W. Lehn
Filing bankruptcy in Florida and using the Florida exemptions will provide you with $1,000 personal property exemption, $1,000 vehicle exemption, and $4,000 personal property exemption if you are not benefiting from the homestead exemption. If your assets exceed these exemptions: In a Chapter 7 - You have the choice of keeping the items and buying back their value or surrendering the items. In a Chapter 13 - You can buy back the items by making monthly payments for 3 to 5 years and retain all of your property. In either case, I would recommend you have your assets appraised by a trustee approved appraiser prior to filing to know what their actual retail value is.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/24/2011
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
Not unless great value.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/23/2011
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
It depends on what chapter you file and what other property you own that you are trying to exempt. It is possible to keep your car when filing for bankruptcy and indeed there is an exemption that is specific to automobiles. Therefore, it is possible to exempt the equity in your auto. You may also be able to utilize the "wild card" exemption and apply it to the rest of your property, but you should start by taking a look at the exemptions and the equity in any property you have (value less any lien or loan attached to it). Being able to file for ch. 7 bankruptcy will depend on your income and if it falls within the guidelines for ch. 7. I would recommend speaking with an attorney to determine if bankruptcy is the best solution for you or if there are additional options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/22/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    You're allowed up to $5,000 of equity in cars, but only $1,500 in collectibles. Thus, you would risk losing the collectibles by filing Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr.
    Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr. | John C. Farrell, Jr.
    It depends on what type of bankruptcy you qualify for CH7 or CH13. With respect to the car the lender will certainly want the money you agreed to pay. MA law does allow someone to keep a car for necessities.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/22/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    If you decide to keep paying the car and ring payments then you can keep those items. Any unsecured debts from collection agencies will get wiped out.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    A debtor who files bankruptcy is able to retain much of his property. If you own the car free and clear you have a $5000 exemption. That means that equity is not subject to turnover to the trustee. There are similar exemptions for clothing, household goods, and "articles of adornment" including jewelry. An attorney can help you evaluate if you have any assets which may be subject to turnover. Sometimes pre-bankruptcy planning can help minimize your exposure.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    A bankruptcy filing does not mean that you automatically lose your motors vehicles. If you have a vehicle which is collateral for a loan and you do have not equity in the vehicle beyond the applicable exemption amount, then you can keep your vehicle by keeping the payments current. Reaffirmation of the loan might be necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    It all depends on which chapter you're filing. In a chapter 7, it depends on whether you're claiming your house as homestead. If so, you will not be able to claim the additional $4000 exemption and will only be allowed a total of $2,000 in exemption ($1000 for car, and $1000 for personal property). Therefore, anything over the exemption limit is non-exempt property and will be liquidated, or if you have the money, you can pay the trustee to redeem the property. Of course, that is not to say that if you have millions of miscellaneous items the trustee will take them all away. He/she will only liquidate items with significant value, for example a car, and abandon the rest. In a chapter 13, no they will not take any of that away. However, how much you will have to pay over the duration of your plan, again, depends on whether you're taking the homestead exemption. Ultimately, what you have to pay in a Chapter 13 has to be at least the value of your non-exempt property.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Depends on the amount of equity you have in the cars, but it doesn't sound like it's a lot if any at all. To answer the question completely, one would have to know what the cars are worth and compare that to what is owed against them. From what little information you have provided here, it SOUNDS as if you'll have no problem keeping the cars (assuming of course that you keep up with the payments - You should never ever confuse the Bankruptcy Court with Santa's Village)
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    That depends on which chapter of bankruptcy you file, the value of your car and other assets, and which state's exemption laws apply in your case. 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: 8/19/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    In bankruptcy you are allowed to keep certain assets that are exempt. Contact an attorney to find out if you qualify for your property to be claimed exempt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    It depends on the "exemptions" available to you when and where you file.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    First of all, if you file a bankruptcy without a lawyer, you likely will screw up and lose things you should have kept. Get a lawyer. What you can and cannot keep depends on what you can exempt, how you arrange those exemptions, and what you owe. It is very likely that a good lawyer will prove helpful in keeping cars and eliminating many debts.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    I cannot tell as more information is required. One would need to know all that you own plus the value of those assets. How much you owe has nothing to do with what you can exempt or keep.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Lewis Adams and Associates
    Lewis Adams and Associates | Lewis P. Adams
    In Utah, an owner of a car is entitled to $2,500 in equity over the what is owed on the car. If there is more equity, the car can be taken and sold to get the excess equity after paying you $2,500. If there is debt against the car and you want to keep the car, you may need to reaffirm the debt and continue to pay the note. Other personal property also has exemptions that protect the items so they cannot be taken and sold.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    You have a Nevada exemption of up to $15,000 equity in your car. They should not take it away. You can't keep two cars but if one has no equity, as long as you continue to pay for it the trustee won't have the ability to sell it. Your other assets may also be exempt or protected from liquidation by a trustee.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    If you file a Chapter 7 case and you can pay for your car post petition (after filing your case) you should be able to reaffirm on the debt and keep your car. Reaffirming means you sign documents agreeing to continue making your payments. It is up to the creditor whether they allow to reaffirm. If you are behind on your car payments, most creditors will not allow you to enter into a reaffirmation agreement. This answer assumes that you do not have excessive equity in your car that you are unable to protect with your exemptions. If you decide to give up your property, the debt you owe will be discharged. If you file a Chapter 13 case, you can keep your car, cure any arrearage you owe on it, provided you can make the required payments and the car is insured. In a Chapter 13 case, you do not receive a discharge until the end of your case. The minimum time for a Chapter 13 is 36 months. At the end of your Chapter 13 case, you would receive a discharge that would cover all debt provided for in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    Depending on the equity you have in your car, in most cases you can keep your car if you continue making payments and keep it insured. The lender will most likely require you to reaffirm the debt, which in essence re-obligates you on the contract, just as though no bankruptcy had been filed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    You are a little vague, but I will try to help. You can keep any car that is in your name and is worth less than $3,450. 00 in Ohio. You also get to add on any amount that you owe on the car. So if you own a car that you owe $10,000.00 on, you can keep it it if it is worth less than $13,450.00. Of course you still have to make the payments. If you owe more on the car than it is worth, you can still keep it, but you need to talk to your attorney about "redeeming" it for it's real cash value. There's no sense paying more for a car than it's worth. If you file a bankruptcy, you MUST list ALL of your debts. In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, all of your debts are discharged forever. There are only a few types of debts that are nondischargeable, like child support. Your attorney can tell you about that. If you owe money on rings to a jewelry store, they will usually claim it is "secured" by the jewelry. You have the option of giving it back to them and owing nothing or "redeemiong it at it's real, "street" cash value. That's usually very low. Once again your attorney should help in that matter. A bankruptcy is supposed to give you a "fresh start." Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    There isn't enough information for me to give a proper response. I believe you mean that you owe money on both cars. If so, and there's little to no value after paying the debts, you can either keep them or give them back. You are allowed to exempt certain property so it can't be taken, and valuing that property is important. Can you sell the collections at auction $5,000? Doubtful.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    It depends on the value of the cars and how much you owe. You have an exemption of $2,500 in one car that you can claim. That means that the trustee deducts from the value of the car whatever you owe plus the amount of the exemption. Depending on what is left, he might or might not sell the car, pay off the bank and give you the $2,500. Or he might decide that the equity isn't enough to justify doing that. As for the other car, the analysis is the same, except that you don't have the $2,500 exemption. As for the collections, there probably isn't an exemption that applies, so the trustee will in all likelihood sell them unless he decides they are of nominal value. If they are worth $5,000 as you indicate, the trustee will certainly sell them and use the money to pay your creditors.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 1/21/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    It sounds like all those things are exempt. You can have about 21K is stuff they will not take (above and beyond the itemized exemptions found in section 703 of the California Civil Code).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    Whether you can keep your property will depend on the value of the property compared to the exemptions you are allowed to claim. You should speak to an attorney about the specifics of your case to ensure that you are able to keep the property that you have.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    No not necessarily, you can reaffirm the debt on the car and keep it. I am happy to discuss these issues with you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Most debtors who file bankruptcy are able to keep their car. You should speak to a bankruptcy attorney in your jurisdiction to see how bankruptcy exemptions are applied.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    The trustee may in a chapter 7 but you may be able to keep them if the value is less than your exemptions. If you are over on exemptions you may need to file a chapter 13 and pay over time the value of property that you are keeping.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    When you file for bankruptcy any secured debt you have must be paid. So, car loans are secured by the vehicle and if you want to keep the cars you have to make the payments. If you don't make the payments, then you have to return the cars. The same applies for jewelry that you bought from a jewelry store. Those debts must be paid. If you paid the jewelry with a credit card, then that is a different story.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
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