Civil Judgement; will they seize my 15 year-old car?

I have about $10,000 in judgements against me for credit card debts. I am NOT in bankruptcy yet. I’m unemployed, don’t really have any assets except for a 15 year old car. This is not a collectible or sports car, just a basic GM product with 150,000 miles on it.Will they bother to seize the old heap? I really need it to look for a job. I’ve read that Mass law allows you to keep a car worth up to $700, exempt from judgements. This is technically worth (slightly) more than, I suppose.

Asked on May 18, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts


J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am not admitted in MA but specialize in this area of law in NY and CT. When a state does allow for repossession of a car as long as it does not fall within the parameters of an exemption is is fair game to creditors to repossess.

That being said many creditors will find it does not pay to repossess such an old car. it costs the creditors money to pay for the repossession of an item such as a car and if the value of the car is not deemed sufficient often times they do not proceed.

I would say you should call whomever has the judgements and speak to them. Try to set up payment plans even if a small token amount until you find employment. that would ensure your car is not repossessed.

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