Will my car and property be taken if I file for bankruptcy? 18 Answers as of January 28, 2011

If I file bankruptcy would they take my car, and my vacant lot? No payment on either one of them. I do not own a house. I earn a very minimum amount of money per month. I can't keep up with the credit card payment anymore.

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Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
It really depends on the value of the car and the vacant lot to see if they would be exempted. If you'd like to share that information, I can give you a better answer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/28/2011
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
With respect to the vacant lot, if it is worth more than $23K, the trustee may try to sell the lot to distribute the proceeds to your creditors.

With respect to your vehicle, if it is not paid in full, most likely its value is less than what's owed on it and you can keep it, provided you're current on the payments. If it is paid in full, then under California 703 exemption, you can exempt up to $3,520 for one vehicle. There is also the "wildcard exemption" which allows you to exempt any other property, including portion of the vehicle that is in excess of $3,520, up to approximately $23,000.00. Please note, however, that because you also have the lot to deal with which will consume some if not all of the $23K, you may no longer be able to protect the vehicle in full, assuming it is worth more than $3,520. I suggest that you take me up on my offer of a free consultation with a certified specialist in bankruptcy law me before you make any decision regarding whether or not bankruptcy is right for you. You can call me at my office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/26/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You have not given me enough information to answer that question. It depends on what they are worth. Consult with a lawyer so he or she can look at all of financial circumstances and give you an informed answer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/26/2011
Ursula G. Barrios Law
Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
You can keep your car and vacant lot (depending on value) while getting rid of your debts with a bankruptcy. CA law protects up to $27K between car, lot and any other misc. property (not otherwise protected under other exemptions).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/25/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
It will depend. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to see what options are available to you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
    Javia & Moore
    Javia & Moore | Marisa-Andrea Moore
    If you do not make the necessary payments on your vehicle, it can be repossessed regardless of you filing for bankruptcy. The lot can also be foreclosed upon. If you file for bankruptcy without making payments on either property, most likely you will not be allowed to retain it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Maybe... You can exempt (protect) a certain amount of property in bankruptcy. Generally you can exempt a car with net value (after loans on it) of $3,525 and then you have what is called the "wildcard" exemption of $23,250 that you can use for anything including the value of one vehicle over $3,525 or other vehicles, bank accounts, cash on hand, etc. including your vacant lot. Therefore, you need to add everything you own and see if the value exceeds the exemption amount available. If it does, then the property could be taken by the trustee and sold to pay your debts. You could have a problem with the vacant lot depending on its fair market value. You might need an appraisal of the lot. Make sure you consult with a bankruptcy lawyer before filing a bankruptcy case. Once you file for bankruptcy Chapter 7 you cannot get out without permission from the court and the trustee will object if there is property with value not exempt that the trustee may take and liquidate. That is the job of the trustee. He or she must take your property to pay your creditors unless the law provides that you can exempt the property. In some cases you might want to file a Chapter 13 instead of a Chapter 7 and pay in the Chapter 13 plan the amount of the property that you may not exempt over a period of up to five years. This should all make sense because if you have a vacant lot with substantial value the creditors could sue you and have your lot sold to pay the judgment. Therefore, the trustee in bankruptcy would do the same unless the law provides that the lot is protected from being taken by creditors with judgments.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Law Office of Aaron Nielson
    Law Office of Aaron Nielson | Aaron Nielson
    It depends so more information is needed. Can you afford to make payments on both of them if your other debt was discharged? What are the value of the items? What exemptions are available to you. (The question doesn't tell us where you live.) See if an attorney in your area does free consults and get more information to them.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    The answer depends upon the values and whether or not they can be exempted from the trustee's taking.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi | Brian H. Nomi
    You may well be able to keep your vehicle and land. It's well worth discussing this with an attorney to see what your exemptions are.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    There's no way to answer your question without knowing a lot more facts, including the values of each of your assets, the amount of equity in them, what state you resided in for the past 2+ years, etc. It all depends on what exemptions you have available to you under applicable state law given the value of your assets.

    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: 1/24/2011
    The Pedigo Law Corporation
    The Pedigo Law Corporation | Brian T. Pedigo, Esq.
    In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, what you keep and what you lose depend on 1) the exemptions claimed and 2) the equity in the subject property. A bankruptcy lawyer will have to ask you specific questions to determine what you can keep and what you will likely lose.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    It depends on the value of the vacant land. Depending on its value you may be able to exempt it and keep it. Get a consult with a competent attorney to discuss before you do anything.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    When you file for Chapter 7 protection, as a flesh-and-blood person, you get the protection of the "exemption" laws, which allow you to keep certain things despite filing for bankruptcy otherwise, it would not be much relief if they took your things and left you out on the street. There is a specific law in California to protect cars and another one that may allow you to protect your vacant lot, depending on how much it is worth. The first thing to do is try to get a value for the lot the value will vary depending on whether it's land-locked or its shape and size, etc. Once you have an estimate of that, you should consult a bankruptcy attorney to see if all your property is exempt. If it is not exempt, there are other Chapters that may be considered, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    DiManna Law Office, LLC.
    DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
    It will depend on the values but probably not.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
    Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
    the debtor in bankruptcy is entitled to make a claim of exempt property, i.e. property the debtor gets to keep, the actual exemptions the debtor gets is determined by state law.
    Answer Applies to: South Dakota
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    In Tennessee and every state there are exemptions. amounts of property you may retain and still file a chapter 7 proceeding.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 1/24/2011
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