Will I lose my vehicle if I file bankruptcy? 39 Answers as of July 03, 2013

Will I lose my vehicle if I filed for bankruptcy?

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Alfred Law Firm
Alfred Law Firm | Janice Alfred
If you qualify for a chapter 7, you can chose to retain the vehicle by reaffirm the debt before the bankruptcy becomes final. If you file a 13 you will be able to keep it as long as you continue to make your payments under the plan.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 11/4/2011
The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
If you live in New York State, you can have $2,400.00 exempted from the value of your car. The Bankruptcy Trustee will look at the current Blue Book value of the car, and whether you owe any money on it. The Bankruptcy Trustee will then look at the total debt that you have, and whether it is worth it to have the car repossessed to auction off to pay your debt. So for example, if you have a car that's worth $4,000.00, the trustee may decide that the costs of auctioning the car would be too high to make repossession of the car worth it.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/28/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Applicable "exemptions" protect a certain amount of equity in a vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 10/27/2011
Dearbonn Law Offices
Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
No, if you claim an exemption and make your payments if you have any.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/27/2011
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
If you can afford the car payment, most lenders will allow you to sign a reaffirmation agreement so that you can keep your car if you are current on your payments.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/26/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Probably not... unless it is a very expensive car with no debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/26/2011
    Mankus & Marchan, LTD
    Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
    If you're not in arrears with your car payments, you can reaffirm the car loan and keep the vehicle in bankruptcy. If you're behind in the payments, you may have options to keep it in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/26/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    It depends on the equity of your vehicle. In Colorado, you are allowed to keep a vehicle up to $5,000 in equity if you're single. The amount doubles if you are married, disabled, or over 60 years of age. Equity is determined by subtracting the loan balance from the car's value. If you're under $5,000, then you keep your car, but if the car is worth more, then the car would be lost in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    The Law Offices of Katie M. Stone
    The Law Offices of Katie M. Stone | Katie M. Stone
    Whether you lose your vehicle or not depends on a lot of factors such as: whether you own real property (land or houses) and are keeping it, the amount of equity you have in the car vs. the amount of statutory exemptions you have to use, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    No you can reaffirm the debt on the vehicle and keep it.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Generally no, assuming that it is not a paid for car that is worth more than you can exempt. Most people owe more on their car than it is worth, so as long as you can make the payments, they generally let you keep it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Depends on how much equity if any. The problem is when you have more equity than what you are allowed to keep. So, without knowing what you owe, and what the vehicle is worth, impossible to answer the question, although if you owe more than its worth, than you have no equity, so if that is the situation, as long as you keep making payments, you're fine.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
    It depends, but usually no. If your vehicle is a brand-new paid in full Rolls Royce, probably you will lose it. If the vehicle is worth less than $3,450, most likely not. If the vehicle has a loan on it, so has little equity, most likely not. If you have "wildcard" exemption money left over because you don't have a house, most likely not. If you have a lease, and you can still pay on it, most likely you will be able to keep it if the monthly payment is not too high. The bottom line is that most people get to keep their car in bankruptcy. But if you owe money on a car, you can't just stop paying, file bankruptcy and keep it. For longer term auto debt, sometimes a chapter 13 gives advantages, by permitting "cram down" of the debt to the car's fair market value instead of contract price, and by dropping the interest rate on the loan. Sometimes we recommend giving the car back and getting another one or doing a car refinance (yes, even in bankruptcy). There are a lot of things skilled bankruptcy attorneys can do with car situations, such as stopping repossessions, and dealing with auto surcharges.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law | Gregory J. Wald
    It depends on how much it is worth, how much you owe on it, what else you own, and what type of bankruptcy you file. However, the great majority of people who file bankruptcy do not lose their vehicles. You are able to exempt and keep certain amounts and types of property from creditors and there are exemptions for vehicles.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    Braunstein Law, PC
    Braunstein Law, PC | Jacob Braunstein
    Not necessarily. The answer will depend on several factors, including like how much the vehicle is worth, whether there is a loan on the vehicle, which chapter of bankruptcy is filed, etc. You will want to consult with a bankruptcy attorney regarding your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/25/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. This is where a good lawyer comes in handy. There are often ways to protect assets depending on how you list things.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    If you own your vehicle outright you may be able to claim it as an exemption. If you are paying for a vehicle you should be able to keep it by continuing payments, perhaps by a reaffirmation agreement. One may not be necessary if the lender doesn't require it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Most debtors do not lose their motor vehicles in bankruptcy but the trustee may take possession of your vehicle if it has equity above and beyond your local exemptions.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Batten & Beasley
    Batten & Beasley | Daniel Batten
    It depends on the equity that you have in the vehicle. If you equity is greater than the amount of the exemption you could lose the vehicle or pay the trustee the amount of the difference. Most of the time an individual is able to retain their vehicles.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Law Offices of James Wingfield
    Law Offices of James Wingfield | James Wingfield
    Not necessarily. As long as you are able to exempt the equity on the vehicle then the vehicle will not become part of the Bankruptcy Estate (i.e., the Trustee assuming we are talking about a Chapter 7 case will not be able to sell the car). But that is only part of the equation. The next question is whether you (1) up to date on your car payments and (2) if you will be able to maintain the car payments. If you are up to date and keep up with the car payments then the Bank will not be allowed to repossess the vehicle. Massachusetts law prohibits an auto lender from repossessing a vehicle absent a material breach (i.e. a payment default).
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C.
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C. | Ken Parker
    If you owe money on the vehicle and you file a Chapter 7, then in most cases, you will be able to keep it as long as you are current on the payments and you continue making the payments. Sometimes a creditor will force a reaffirmation agreement on you. Be careful signing reaffirmation agreements, as these agreements bind the debt to you even after receiving a discharge. If you do not owe money on the car, then you should be able to keep the car as long as it's value doesn't exceed your exemptions.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
    Depends on value.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    Not necessarily. It depends on the equity you have in the vehicle and the other exemptions you claim. Sit down with an attorney and he or she can let you know for sure.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    Not necessarily. You did not say if you owned car outright or have a loan. If you own the car outright, you are entitled to a $5000 exemption. If your car is worth more than that, you may have to pay the difference to the trustee. If the car is encumbered by a loan and you are like most people these days, you owe more than the car is worth. If you keep making payments you can keep the car. If you stop paying the car will be repossessed.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Buff & Chronister
    Buff & Chronister | G. Scott Buff
    You should not lose your vehicle if you file for Bankruptcy unless it is a vehicle you can no longer pay for and you want to surrender the vehicle to the creditor. There are Bankruptcy exemptions. These exemptions provide that equity amounts in certain types of property are beyond the reach of your creditors. There are exemptions for real property, vehicles and other personal property. If you do not have a great deal of equity in your vehicle, then you should be able to file for Chapter 7, receive a discharge and keep your vehicle. If your vehicle is financed, you can agree with the lender in writing to continue making the payments and keep your vehicle. This agreement is a reaffirmation agreement and it is filed with the Bankruptcy Court. It obligates you to continue making your vehicle payments irrespective of the Bankruptcy discharge. If you own a vehicle that is worth more than the exemption amount, you can file for Chapter 13 and pay something back to your unsecured creditors. As always, you should consult an experienced Bankruptcy attorney before making any decision with respect to filing for Bankruptcy. He or she can go through your specific situation and lay out your options.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Greifendorff Law Office
    Greifendorff Law Office | John Greifendorff
    It's unlikely but without specifics about what chapter of bankruptcy you will use, whether the vehicle is paid for or not, and what it's valuation is I cannot be more specific. So go see a bankruptcy lawyer and discuss those points. Bankruptcy is not something to undertake casually at the cheapest rate going. Get good counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Engberg Law Office
    Engberg Law Office | Harry A. Engberg
    Normally no. It depends on which type of bankruptcy you file, if there are liens on the vehicle, what is your exemption level and if you are current on your loan, if any. If there is a loan on the vehicle and limited equity, the vehicle is kept by completing a reaffirmation agreement with the lender. If there is not a loan on the car, the value of the car has to fit into your exemption value. Otherwise you will have pay the trustee the value that exceeds your exemptions or sell the car.
    Answer Applies to: South Dakota
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Charles R. Nettles - Attorney at Law
    Charles R. Nettles - Attorney at Law | Charles R. Nettles
    I can't say with 100% accuracy because I don't know what you are driving but, presuming that your car isn't a brand new Porsche that is paid off in full, I would say that you will get to keep your car. Probably, 99% of the people who file keep their cars, unless they don't want to pay for them anymore. You have to be current on the payments and have the proper insurance after that it should not be a problem.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    You shouldn't. You have a $15,000 equity exemption for one vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Walden & Pfannenstiel, LLC : Kansas City Bankrutpcy Attorneys
    Walden & Pfannenstiel, LLC : Kansas City Bankrutpcy Attorneys | Malissa L. Walden
    Under statute, every person residing in Kansas shall have exempt from seizure and sale upon any attachment, execution or other process issued from any court in this state certain personal property. Fortunately, Kansas exemptions are quite gracious so there is a good chance you may keep your vehicle. However, there are restrictions. Your interest may not exceed $20,000 in value. You are limited to one vehicle that you use regularly for transportation, generally for work. If you and your spouse are filing a joint bankruptcy, this exemption may be doubled. If your vehicle has been designed or equipped for handicapped persons the $20,000 value cap does not apply. If you have a third vehicle - it would generally be considered non-exempt. Does that mean you won't be able to keep it? Not necessarily. Other options may be available, it may depend if you are filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, how it is titled, and its use.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Robert J. Doig, Attorney at Law
    Robert J. Doig, Attorney at Law | Robert Doig
    Probably not. It will all depend on the amount of equity that you have in the vehicle. For most people, the amount of the automobile exemption is $5,000.00. If you are over 60 years old or disabled, it is $10,000.00. If you are filing as a couple, you can double the amount of the exemptions. So, in all likelihood, you will be able to keep your vehicle if you file for bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
    Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
    Virginia has a $6000 exemption for equity in cars. We can also apply the Homestead exemption if we need to. So to answer your question, it is possible to lose your vehicle but normally this does not occur.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    That depends. You have to talk to a bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Lewis Adams and Associates
    Lewis Adams and Associates | Lewis P. Adams
    It depends. You have a $2,500 exemption that protects up to $2,500 in value over and above any remaining debt on the vehicle. If you are current and file a Chapter 7, you should not lose your vehicle. The lender wants you to reaffirm the debt. The only reason a Chapter 7 Trustee wants it is if it has value that exceeds $2,500 and any remaining debt. In a Chapter 13, there is no sale.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/24/2011
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    Whether you will lose your vehicle in bankruptcy depends upon what chapter you file and the amount of equity in your vehicle. Most debtors keep their vehicle if they want to save it because either the debtor files chapter 13 or else the debtor files chapter 7 and has less than the threshold level of equity in the vehicle (approx $5,000-$10,000 in most cases). If the debtor has lived in SC for more than 2 years, the equity level is that set forth in SC Code 15-41-30.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 10/24/2011
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