Can I Keep My Car if I Declare Bankruptcy?

Sun, Aug 30, 2015


8001100219_e7c3859317_bThe answer is sometimes.

If you are filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a single person in Florida, you receive a $1,000 exemption for your car. If you own the vehicle outright and the car is worth less than $1,000 you would be able to keep it. If you are married, and you are jointly filing bankruptcy, then you get $2,000 in motor vehicle exemption and could keep the car if it is worth less than $2,000.

You also get a $1,000 personal property exemption, which you could use as a way to keep your car. If you have no homestead, you could also use the $4,000 homestead exemption.

Vehicle exemptions can be used for cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, motorhomes, and other motor-driven vehicles. The reason these rules exist is that the trustee would use any equity over the allowed amount to pay off secured debts.

So what if you still owe a lender for your car and you are able to keep the car under the bankruptcy rules? What happens with the lender? They would still be able to take the car under your agreement with them. So make sure you check out their rules regarding bankruptcy.

A qualified bankruptcy attorney can discuss this issue with you in more detail.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more.  SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

Image: Some rights reserved by Greg Olotka


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