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  • Louisa P.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    Robert and the team at Stiberman Law are truly exceptional. I was faced with the daunting task of navigating bankruptcy, and from the moment I contacted them, I knew I was in good hands Read More
    May 21, 2024logo
  • Arlene S.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    Excellent Lawyer, friendly and on top of things and reliable and efficient. I had to go through bankruptcy twice and I trusted them every time. I had the best experience with Robert and Read More
    March 20, 2024logo
  • Gustavo S.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    I am very satisfied with the service that they offered us. They were very professional and kept us informed at all times. I was looking for a bankruptcy attorney nearby and fount Robert Read More
    March 19, 2024logo
  • Louisa P.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    Robert and the team at Stiberman Law are truly exceptional. I was faced with the daunting task of navigating bankruptcy, and from the moment I contacted them, I knew I was in good hands Read More
    May 21, 2024logo
  • Arlene S.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    Excellent Lawyer, friendly and on top of things and reliable and efficient. I had to go through bankruptcy twice and I trusted them every time. I had the best experience with Robert and Read More
    March 20, 2024logo
  • Gustavo S.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    I am very satisfied with the service that they offered us. They were very professional and kept us informed at all times. I was looking for a bankruptcy attorney nearby and fount Robert Read More
    March 19, 2024logo
  • Paul B.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    I would like to share the amazing experience I have had with this Law firm. I was on the verge of loosing my house because I had not paid my property taxes. I looked for a Bankruptcy at Read More
    July 10, 2023logo
  • S.M.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    When I say this office was absolutely the best, I am not kidding! They have been absolutely phenomenal. Robert has been the best bankruptcy attorney. The whole team has always kept Read More
    April 20, 2023logo
  • Paula D.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    I was referred by a friend to this bankruptcy attorney. Mr. Stiberman and his staff was very courteous, knowledgeable and very caring towards my concerns. I am pleased with the outcom Read More
    April 18, 2023logo
  • R.P.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    The process was relatively easy, I would recommend Stiberman Law to anyone who finds themselves in need of a bankruptcy attorney.
    February 24, 2023logo
  • Jose N.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    I have to say that I have had a great experience with Stiberman Law regarding a bankruptcy and they have been very informative and supportive. They have been very helpful and always ans Read More
    January 20, 2023logo
  • L.L.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    Excellent service. Great bankruptcy attorney and staff. Always informed me of what to expect. My Chapter 13 bankruptcy was smooth and the process was easy thanks to Robert and the Read More
    July 20, 2022logo
  • Sam Sstarstarstarstarstar5.0
    Twelve years ago I was in need of legal representation stemming from the housing meltdown if 2008. Robert Stiberman and his staff handled the matter with complete professionalism and sp Read More
    October 19, 2022logo
  • K.D.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    I was looking for a bankruptcy attorney in Miami, and I found Mr. Stiberman. He and his office were efficient, and they guided me through every step of the process. I am appreciative of Read More
    September 16, 2022logo
  • Carmen C.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    I am so grateful for Stiberman Law, P.A. In 2019 my husband and were faced with a very difficult decision file for Bankruptcy, unfortunately we weren’t able to pay for our credit Read More
    October 26, 2022logo
  • N.M.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    Excellent work from this bankruptcy law firm! I was drowning in debt with my license suspended from a lawsuit I had and thought I would have to spend the rest of my life paying back deb Read More
    August 17, 2022logo
  • R.Z.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    The experience with this office has been great. No problems at all they have kept me straight to doing the right thing and feeling a breeze of peace and being debt free with my bankruptcy.
    August 30, 2022logo
  • F.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    Very happy with Robert and his team. Thanks to them we were able to save our home. Very helpful and knowledgeable in bankruptcy. Best attorney.
    July 28, 2022logo
  • E.R.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    I had a great experience, I just want thank Stiberman law and his team for a great experience also Ana for the help and explaining my case. Appreciate, thank you
    July 25, 2022logo
  • A.B.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    Very good office with my bankruptcy. They have been amazing through this hard process. Very happy with Robert and his staff they are very nice and professional. Thank you stiberman!
    July 23, 2022logo
  • W.J.starstarstarstarstar5.0
    Amazing work by Robert. They are really good with what they do, very attentive and knowledgeable. Customer service and professionalism are top, the lawyer has been great this whole t Read More
    June 25, 2022logo

What Happens to My Car in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Your car is a necessity for getting to and from work, running errands, or making sure your kids get to school and doctor’s appointments. So, if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, what happens to your car? Whether you get to keep it depends on a variety of factors, but our team of bankruptcy attorneys in Florida is breaking down what you can expect and how to plan for the future.

Understanding Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is a type of liquidation bankruptcy designed to help people with no disposable income get out from under certain types of unsecured debt, like credit cards and medical bills. Your debts are tallied and a trustee then goes through your valuable, non-exempt assets and sells them to pay off creditors. Anything left over after the liquidation is discharged, and you no longer make payments nor can creditors continue to pursue payment.

During the Chapter 7 process, if you are behind on your car payment, the repossession process will be paused. During this time, you can surrender your car back to the lender and your debt that you owe can be discharged as a non-secured loan.

Read More

Complete Guide To Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

What You Can Keep In A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Determining Whether You Can Keep Your Car During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you don’t choose to voluntarily surrender your vehicle, let’s look at the scenarios that determine whether you will be able to keep your vehicle or if you must surrender it.

What Happens to Your Car if You Are Behind on Payments?

If you are behind on payments, and you have no way of catching up, as we mentioned above, you may want to consider returning it to the lender. Once the bankruptcy process has ended (or sooner if the lender obtains permission from the bankruptcy court), the involuntary repossession process can begin again, so surrendering it to the lender may reduce fees and help reduce stress.

On the other hand, if you’re one or two payments behind, and filing for bankruptcy will let you catch back up, call your lender and let them know when they can expect a payment.

Will You Keep Your Car If You Are Making Payments or It’s Paid Off?

If you have maintained good standing with your lender and are continuing to make payments, whether you keep your car or it’s taken in the bankruptcy depends on how much equity you have in the vehicle.

In Florida, you can claim up to $5,000 in property exemptions during Chapter 7 toward a vehicle if you don’t own your home. This means that if you own the car outright and it’s worth less than $5,000 or you have less than $5,000 in equity while still making payments, you will most likely get to keep your vehicle. If you own a home, you can only claim up to $1000 of exemption towards the equity in your vehicle.

Check the Kelly Blue Book or NADA value of your vehicle, subtract the balance you still owe on the car loan and, if it’s worth more than $5,000 or you have more equity, your car will be sold to pay off creditors or you’ll be given the option to pay its non-exempt equity. Working with a bankruptcy attorney can give you a better idea of whether or not you’ll keep your vehicle.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

At Stiberman Law, we have helped countless clients in South Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Boca Raton, navigate the challenges of bankruptcy and emerge in a stronger financial position for the future. Let us help you achieve financial freedom, too by scheduling a free consultation. Call (954) 922-2283 or fill out the form below to get started.

Written By:

Attorney Robert Stiberman

Robert is an experienced bankruptcy attorney adept at handling Chapter 7, 13, and 11 filings, with more than 15 years of experience in bankruptcy cases. Robert represents clients in both consumer and business bankruptcy ... Read More

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