Q: I am filing for bankruptcy. If my vehicle is my only source of income, can it be exempt.
I do own the vehicle outright, no liens. It is worth approximately $12k and I have approximately $32k of debt . I have been using this vehicle as my primary source of income through Uber and Lyft for over two years. Will the fact that I use this vehicle for work have any bearing on whether or not an exemption can be made?
A: In Oregon a debtor can use federal exemptions. You have a certain amount of vehicle exemption and then additional wildcard exemption. If you are not using a homestead exemption (because you rent your residence) then you likely have plenty to cover $12K of equity in a car. You can use the 4K vehicle exemption and then approx 12K of wildcard on top of that. this of course assumes that you are not using vehicle or wildcard exemptions elsewhere.
Exemption planning may be simple or may be dangerous. this is one of the reasons people use bankruptcy attorneys. It would be nice if it was like turbotax and you could put your filing together and then have a professional review it like they do for taxes, but for now, the system doesn't allow us to do "attorney reviewed" bankruptcies. You either get full representation or you get nothing.
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