If I get a judgement against me, is there an exemption on my car value?

I know I can keep $1,000 in personal property. My car is worth about $800 (I bought it for $300). The suit is for $2,300 plus legal costs. I make about $70 per week and my hours have now been cut. How likely is a creditor to go after a 16 year old car in moderate to poor condition? Does the marshall seizing the car assess its value?

Asked on September 19, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In most states in this country, a car owned by a judgment debtor is exempt from levy if the car is below a certain value. Usually the threshhold is around $8,000 value of the vehicle.

If you are served with a levy on your car, you need to file a claim of exemption with the court to prevent the loss of your vehicle. Go can go online for forms as to this document. I suggest that if you owe any part of the $2,300 that you enter into a written monthly payment plan with the creditor that you can afford to pay down the obligation.

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