How does the automobile exemption work in a bankruptcy?

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How does the automobile exemption work in a bankruptcy?

My wife and I are considering bankruptcy. I am not clear on the automobile exemption. We own 2 cars , each with a value of approximately $12,000. We have no loans on either vehicle. How does this work with the $1,000 exemption?

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

Mark J. Markus / Mark J. Markus, Law Offices of

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Exemptions vary from state to state.  Exemptions are "protections" for value you have in certain assets such that they are "exempt" from collections.  Every state has different exemptions amounts available. Exemption laws are based on the state where you resided for the 2 years prior to filing your bankruptcy case or, if you lived in more than 1 state during that period, in the state where you resided for the greater part of the 180 days prior to that 2 year period.

Assuming Florida's exemptions apply to your case, it looks like if you are filing a joint bankruptcy petition, you can take $2,000 in one of your vehicles and then use Florida's wildcard exemption for another $8,000.   I don't know what other assets you may need to protect (such as cash in bank accounts, etc.)   Also, if you need to use the homestead exemption, you cannot use the wildcard on your vehicles.

You need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney in your area for more specifics on what you can exempt.

Mark J. Markus, Attorney at Law

Handling exclusively bankruptcy law cases in California since 1991.

http://www.bklaw.com/

bankruptcy blog: http://bklaw.com/bankruptcy-blog/

Follow Me on Twitter:  @bklawr

Mark J. Markus / Mark J. Markus, Law Offices of

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Exemptions vary from state to state.  Exemptions are "protections" for value you have in certain assets such that they are "exempt" from collections.  Every state has different exemptions amounts available. Exemption laws are based on the state where you resided for the 2 years prior to filing your bankruptcy case or, if you lived in more than 1 state during that period, in the state where you resided for the greater part of the 180 days prior to that 2 year period.

Assuming Florida's exemptions apply to your case, it looks like if you are filing a joint bankruptcy petition, you can take $2,000 in one of your vehicles and then use Florida's wildcard exemption for another $8,000.   I don't know what other assets you may need to protect (such as cash in bank accounts, etc.)   Also, if you need to use the homestead exemption, you cannot use the wildcard on your vehicles.

You need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney in your area for more specifics on what you can exempt.

Mark J. Markus, Attorney at Law

Handling exclusively bankruptcy law cases in California since 1991.

http://www.bklaw.com/

bankruptcy blog: http://bklaw.com/bankruptcy-blog/

Follow Me on Twitter:  @bklawr


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