We Can Help Protect Your Car

When facing bankruptcy, many people are concerned about losing their home and their car. Whether you will be able to keep your home or car can depend on your lease, equity and whether you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Ways To Protect Your Car In Chapter 7

If you are concerned about keeping your car in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you may have options. While an experienced bankruptcy attorney will be able to discern whether or not keeping your car is possible and in your best interest, you may be able to:

  • Settle with the trustee
  • File a Chapter 13 bankruptcy
  • Cover the extra equity by using the Wisconsin's general personal property exemption.

What Is Your Car Worth?

Do not rely on what a dealer told you your car is worth, or what you think it's worth. Find an accurate comparable for your vehicle in the Blue Book (KBB) or NADA.

What Wisconsin Allows

Bankruptcy filers can protect up to $12,000 in any personal property. Personal property includes vehicles. If you do not use the full $12,000 on other property, you can use the rest on your car.

Your car cannot be sold by the trustee if the equity in it is less than $4,000 (Wisconsin's car exemption). If the car is worth well over $4,000, it may be worth selling to repay your unsecured creditors.

How Much Equity Is In Your Car?

If you own your car then equity is the same as the car's value. If your car is worth $4,000 then that is the equity.

If you do not own your car then determine how much you would have left over if you sold the car and paid off the loan. This is the equity.

Trustees typically abandon cars that cannot be sold for enough to pay off the creditor.

Avoid Repossession: Craft A New Plan Or Contract

The laws on repossession vary from state to state, as do contract wording regarding what constitutes default. Some contracts stipulate that if you have defaulted even by one or two payments, the vehicle can be repossessed by the leasing agency.

If you are at risk for repossession, work with a qualified and experienced bankruptcy lawyer to craft a plan for a revised payment schedule. A seasoned attorney can help you negotiate a new contract with clear terms and conditions, including voluntary repossession, loan reinstatement or vehicle redemption (purchase). An attorney can also represent you should your car be sold to a third-party "assignee."

Experience And Guidance Is Money Well Spent

It is true that the money spent on an attorney ends up being a fraction of what you might lose if you try and fight creditors alone. To find out how to stop repossessions or repossession questions call Summit Law Office, LLC at 414-763-7266 for your free consultation.

You can also make your appointment to learn more about how we can help you by contacting us online. We serve clients in West Allis, Wisconsin, and the surrounding communities.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.