Would I lose my SSI payments and car if I file for bankruptcy? 12 Answers as of March 03, 2016

I've receive SSI payments as my only income. I have an old (1998) car with very high miles. I cannot afford to lose either my monthly SSI payments or the car. Would I lose them if I filed bankruptcy? Also, paying for an attorney would be a real hardship, if not nearly impossible. Could you please advise if there's any way for me to proceed given these circumstances? Thank you very much.

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Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
You would not lose your SSI payments, SSI is exempt in bankruptcy. You would not lose your 1998 vehicle, there is an vehicle exemption, in many states it's pathetically small but the equity in a 1998 vehicle is probably pretty small, too. Many attorneys will give a discount for simple cases with low income.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/3/2016
Freeman Law Group, LLC
Freeman Law Group, LLC | Derek Freeman
Every state has laws that exempt certain property in bankruptcy. Chances are your car will be exempt in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your SSI payments are also exempt. You should talk with a local attorney for more guidance.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 3/3/2016
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
No. No creditor can get your SS benefits and your cars is way too old.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/3/2016
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
No, both those are exempt assets.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/3/2016
Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
You would not. However, if you are already judgment proof I would question the need to file at all.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/3/2016
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    You would not lose them in Nevada. They are both exempt. You may check with the pro bono project in your area to see if you qualify for assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/3/2016
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    There is no reason you would lose your social security income that I'm aware of from reading your question. Do you owe SSI over payments? Is something else going on with it like fraud? You need to get some advice from a knowledgeable local bankruptcy attorney. Same with the car. There are exemptions that should protect it. Please contact your local legal aid to ask about what bankruptcy programs that may have. You can also check the bankruptcy court website for pro se services. Here is the link for northern California: http://www.canb.uscourts.gov/pro-se-pro-bono-services.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/3/2016
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    No, your SSI and car are exempt from creditors (which means you get to keep these items). Contact your State and local Bar Associations for pro bono assistance (for example, the Colorado Bar Association and the Denver Bar Association). You can also Google pro bono legal services. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/3/2016
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Depending on your jurisdiction, your car could be exempted out and your social security as well. As for filing without counsel, it is possible, but not recommended.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/3/2016
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    It is unlikely that you would lose your car and there is no possibility that you would lose your SSI if you filed for bankruptcy. In your circumstances, you could probably get a pro bono bankruptcy if you contact a local chapter of legal aid.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/3/2016
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Not a chance that you would lose either your SSI benefits or car by filing bankruptcy. But bankruptcy may be an unnecessary optional expense for you because you are likely JUDGMENT PROOF, meaning that even if your creditors sue you, obtain a court judgment, they will not be able to use the court judgment to collect from you. Some people chose to file bankruptcy anyway because they do not want to deal with the stress of having creditors contact them, but there is usually no actual need to file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/3/2016
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