Will we be able to keep our vehicle in a chapter 13 bankruptcy? 26 Answers as of June 03, 2013

We have a 2010 car we bought with a 401k loan but for titling purposes we own it outright. It is our only vehicle. We also have a 2008 travel trailer we are making payments on, but we would like to keep. Will it be possible to keep these vehicles with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Offices of Christopher L. Hoglin, P.C.
Law Offices of Christopher L. Hoglin, P.C. | Christopher L. Hoglin
In California As far as the 2010 car - If you own it outright, Federal Law allows you to exempt up to $3525.00 for one vehicle. In addition to this amount, there is a wild card exemption totaling $23,250.00. If the value of the vehicle falls below this amount then or shortly over, the Bankruptcy Court will allow you to keep the vehicle. If the vehicle is secured by the 401k loan, then the Court will let you keep the vehicle as long as you can afford to make the payment on the 401k loan. As far as the travel trailer - The purpose of a Chapter 13 Bk is to allow you to catch up on payments for which you may be behind and put you on a re-payment plan for your debt. The BK Court will only allow you to keep items that are necessary to life (i.e. cars, homes, etc. A travel trailer is considered an extra luxury item that is not necessary for survival. With that said, the BK Court is likely to ask you to surrender this item and use the money allocated to that monthly payment to increase your Chapter 13 Plan Payment which is distributed to all creditors.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/4/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not a liquidation proceeding. You can keep your property but it dictates in part how much you have to pay back, at a minimum, to creditors.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 9/30/2011
Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
You can keep property as long as the equity value does not exceed the exemption limits. In a chapter 13 you can keep property that exceeds these limits but you would pay back the difference through your plan.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/30/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Yes, it quite possible. Without knowing what else you own or the value of the vehicle it could affect the amount of your payment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/29/2011
Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law
Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law | Paul Stuber
Yes, you can work out a Chapter 13 plan to keep the car and trailer.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/29/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    Yes it is possible.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton | Daniel Moulton
    A Chapter 13 is a debt consolidation and you keep most if not all of your property. A chapter 7 is a discharge of your debts and you get to keep property that is exempt or has no liquidation value. I would try to claim that the car is being paid for with the 401k loan and claim that it has no value, but it is not certain it would work.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Caruso & Diaz L.L.C.
    Caruso & Diaz L.L.C. | Natalia Diaz
    Yes you would be able to keep the vehicles as long as you can afford the monthly payments.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    In a chapter 13, you can generally keep all of your assets,, you would have to however, pay an amount to creditors equal to at least your "unexempt asset amount". For example, if your car is worth $20k and you and your spouse have an $8,000 exemption, then you would have to have a payment plan for at least $12,000. However, the dynamics of a Chapter 13, you are best speaking with a local attorney to know what your projected payment plan would be, which will include all other factors.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Robert Peters, P.A.
    Robert Peters, P.A. | Robert L. Peters
    You can keep you car in a chapter 13. You should be able to keep the camper also unless it is deemed to be a luxury item by the court.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Probably so, but it could impact in other areas of the 13. What is the 2010 vehicle worth? Knowing that would help enormously in answering the question.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    It depends on the value, payments, what else you own, and other important information that your lawyer will need to give you an opinion of the likelihood of objections to your plan by the trustee and other interested parties. I hope you are considering filing a Chapter 13 without a local experienced lawyer representing you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    In chapter 13 you keep your assets and pay your creditors to your best ability. Most vehicles are kept, unless they are luxury items that are not needed for a successful reorganization.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Douglas W. Harold, Jr.
    You should be able to keep the vehicle. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is set up to allow debtors to keep their assets, provided that they pay out to creditors over the duration of the payment plan (from 3 to 5 years) as money as the creditors would get if the debtor filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and had to liquidate (turn over to the trustee for conversion to cash) some of their assets. However, the trailer is in a different category - presumably it is not a necessity, so you would probably not be allowed to count the monthly trailer payments as "necessary and reasonable" living expenses for purposes of calculating your monthly Chapter 13 payments. In a Chapter 13, you compare your monthly take-home pay with your "necessary and reasonable" living expenses - whatever is left over is considered as disposable income and it has to be paid to the Chapter 13 trustee for distribution to your creditors.You cannot pump up your monthly living expenses by including the trailer payment (which is neither necessary nor reasonable if you are filing for bankruptcy), thereby reducing the monthly payment that you make to the trustee for the benefit of your creditors.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Lewis Adams and Associates
    Lewis Adams and Associates | Lewis P. Adams
    You would typically have no problem keeping the car in a Chapter 13 repayment plan, but depending on the return to unsecured creditors, the court may have an issue with you keeping a luxury item such as a travel trailer that you are still paying on.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    You should be able to retain all of your property in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to let you keep property that might be lost in a chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    Yes, you can keep all property when you file a Chapter 13. In some instances though, you may have to pay extra if the value of the car exceeds the exemption amounts. However, it is certainly worth it.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If you own the vehicle outright, in a Chapter 13 you will have to pay to unsecured creditors an amount at least as much as the unprotected equity. For example, if the vehicle is worth $25,000 and all you can protect is $15,000 by exemptions, then you will have to make plan payments which equals at least $10,000 (the amount you cannot protect), even if you otherwise did not have to pay anything to unsecured creditors based on the disposable income on the form B22C. Most trustee's consider payments on a travel trailer as a luxury expense and will not count the payment in your monthly expenses to determine your plan payment. Therefore, you will not have enough money in the budget to make the payment on the travel trailer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You can keep these items in a Chapter 13, but the value and the fact that the vehicle is paid off may have an effect on your payments. This is a case where an experienced attorney may be able to save you thousands of dollars. You should not try ot file alone.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Whether you can, or should, keep vehicles depends on the wording of your plan and other factors. It is very likely that a good lawyer will find a way to word the plan and paperwork for you to retain such assets. You definitely want to invest in counsel to get it right.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    The car, yes. The trailer will need to be worked on. You should consult with an attorney to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
    Yes you can keep the vehicles in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 allows you to keep your assets.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Eliza Ghanooni, Attorney at Law
    Eliza Ghanooni, Attorney at Law | Eliza Ghanooni
    Filing a chapter 13 won't result in your losing your vehicles. However, your plan payment amount depends on numerous factors, including your income, expenses, debt and other assets. You should call a lawyer for a free consult so they can determine what your plan payment will look like.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    The assets you are allowed to keep and those which must be liquidated are determined on a case-by-case basis. Chapter 13 bankruptcies are complicated. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to explore which exemptions will apply in your case, allowing you to keep property in which you have equity. You may be able to reaffirm the loan on the trailer and keep making the payments. Your equity in it will be a major factor in this determination.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/28/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney