Can I keep my car and file for bankruptcy? - Bankruptcy Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Can I keep my car and file for bankruptcy?

I have a car and I want to see if I can file for bankruptcy. I currently have $32,000 in credit card bills and $15,000 in student loans.

Answer By Cate Eranthe
Eranthe Law Firm
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It depends on the value of the car. Is it paid off or do you owe money on it? What other property do you need to exempt? Please get a consultation with a knowledgeable local bankruptcy attorney. Your student loans will generally not be discharged in bankruptcy.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/19/2011

Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
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Whether you can keep your car depends on whether you file a Chapter or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and also the equity in the car. In a Chapter 13 there is no problem keeping the car, regardless of value. But a 13 involves you making payments to a trustee for 3 to 5 years. In an Ohio Chapter 7 your debts are discharged and you can keep 1 car that has less than $3,450 of equity in it. That is, the car is allowed to be worth $3,450 more than you owe on it. Your spouse can also keep a similar car if it's in her name.

Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 10/19/2011

Answer By Todd Gers
Law Office of Todd M. Gers, PLC
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For the most part you will be able to keep your vehicle if you can objectively afford the payment, whether it be leased or financed. I would need more specific information to give you a better answer.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/19/2011

Law Office of Yvonne Michaud Novak
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A bankruptcy does not prevent you from keeping your car. However, depending on your lending institution and the attorney that you work with, there may be other factors that affect your ability to keep your car. As each situation is fact specific, please contact a local bankruptcy attorney to set up an appointment and go over your situation.

Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 10/18/2011

Answer By C. David Hester
Guardian Law Group PLLC
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Student loans are not dischargable. Your credit card bills are if you qualify, depending on your family size and income. You would likely be able to keep your car, depending on equity and value of the vehicle.

Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 10/18/2011

Answer By David VanDyke
Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
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Generally in most cases you can file for bankruptcy and keep your car.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/18/2011

Answer By Darren Aronow
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
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You can file for bankruptcy with a car, however, you will have to discuss with your attorney how much of the equity in your car is exempt. Your credit card debt will be dischargeable but your student loans will not be dischargeable.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/18/2011

Answer By Dan Wilson
Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
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I assume you are thinking about Chapter 7. If car is paid for you can keep up to $5000 in equity. If car has a loan you can keep it if you keep making payments. Student loans are not dischargeable.

Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/18/2011

Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
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Assuming that either you can exempt any equity you have in your car, or as is more often is the case, you owe more than it's worth, as long as you can make the payments and stay current, you can generally keep the car. By the way, you mentioned student loans, it is almost impossible to discharge student loans, but getting rid of that amount of credit card debt I am sure would help tremendously. Good luck!

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/18/2011

Answer By Paul H. Weig
Weig Law Firm, LLC
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There are "Exemptions" certain things that the legislature has determined you don't have to give up in order to get a fresh start. These exemptions include one car, but only a car of modest value $4800 +/- of Equity. If you are eligible to use the Federal exemptions you can use the so-called "wild card" exemption to exempt equity above the exempt amount. If you have to use Minnesota exemptions and your car is worth too much the Trustee may bring an action to make you turn it over so he can sell it and pay you the exempt amount and pay off theloan and distribute the rest of the proceeds to creditors. That is not profitable for the trustee unless the car is worth a lot and paid of or nearly paid off. In most cases like that the debtor will settle the claim with the trustee by paying a money settlement of what the trustee can reasonably hope to realize by the turnover and sale. The exempt amount is equity - if you owe on the car you probably have nothing to worry about. The lender may ask you to reaffirm the loan, but that's a different question.

Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 10/17/2011

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