What is the garnishment law concerning exempt property?

UPDATED: Sep 7, 2010

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What is the garnishment law concerning exempt property?

In the exempt property listing on wage garnishment, it lists vehicles where the value does not exceed $3,000. How is value determined? Say I own a $30k vehicle but there is a $28k loan attached to that vehicle. Would that be classified as exempt property? Additionally, could that vehicle be seized to satisfy a $1k debt?

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Oregon


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Usually vehicles are valued at fair market value, it really is not based on what you bought it for or what you owe on it although hopefully those numbers match up.  It is usually based on the Blue Book or dealer's book value on the vehicle.  In this economy, you will find that the value of the new vehicle has drastically decreased once it is off the lot now as many people find themselves upside down on the vehicle loan.  So try at least looking in Blue Book to see if your vehicle is more than $3,000.00.  It most likely is worth more than that based on your description above.  The exempt properties are usually based on the necessity of its use or that it is worth much less than the expense of having to obtain it. 

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