Q: If I own my car outright, can it be taken in a bankruptcy?
A: That depends on its value (blue book, nada, etc) and if you are filing a 7 or a 13, and whether you can use federal exemptions or have to use state exemptions. Speak with counsel in your state
A: Depends on the value of the car and which chapter you are filing under.
A: Virginia is an opt-out state, which means you are given the Virginia state law exemptions and various federal exemptions, unless you do not otherwise qualify for Virginia exemptions under the bankruptcy code.
Under Virginia poor debtor's exemptions, a resident may claim up to $6,000 in value in a personal use motor vehicle, and up to $10,000 in a motor vehicle necessary for use in the course of the debtor's trade or occupation, in addition to any value claimed under the Homestead Exemption. Virginia's Homestead Exemption has lifetime caps on the amount which may be claimed exempt, starting at $5,000 plus $500 for each dependent, and increasing to $10,000 at age 65. A disabled veteran with a service-related disability of at least 40% gets another $10,000. The Homestead Exemption could be claimed in any kind of property, real or personal, including in a motor vehicle.
You should consult with an experienced Virginia bankruptcy lawyer to discuss what exemptions might apply to your particular circumstances.
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