Will I Lose My Car if I File for Bankruptcy ?
One of the most important questions potential client’s have when they come in to see me is whether or not they are going to lose their car (motorcycle) if they file for bankruptcy. Florida has a $1,000.00 exemption that can be applied to protect the equity in your car. If you are filing jointly and the car is titled in both your names you will get a $2,000.00 exemption that can be applied to protect the equity of your car. See Fla. Stat. Ann 222.25.
It is important to remember that a car (or motorcycle) that is leased does not fall under this exemption, as you have no equity in that vehicle. You are just using the vehicle and at the end of the lease you typically have no ownership interests in the vehicle.
What if I have more equity than $1,000.00 or $2,000.00 in my car?
In a lot of cases folks have more than $1,000.00 or $2,000.00 in equity. All is not lost, there are options to deal with this situation. For example, if you do not own a home and have the Florida Wild Card Exemption, you can use part of that $4,000.00 exemption to protect the additional equity in your vehicle above the $1,000.00 auto exemption. If you are filing jointly and both of you are on the vehicle title then you can use a portion of the $8,000.00 Florida Wild Card Exemption to protect your additional equity in your vehicle.
If you don’t have the Florida Wild Card Exemption available, you have options as well, however the analysis of what options you have will need to be done on a case by case basis. That is why it is important to do a detailed analysis of your assets before filing for bankruptcy.
Are you considering filing for bankruptcy?
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it is important that you speak with a bankruptcy attorney who can help you evaluate your potential homestead exemption and issues that may impact your exemption status in bankruptcy. Every bankruptcy case is different, so what has worked for one debtor may not necessarily work for another. If you are in Miami-Dade County or Broward County, Florida, please feel free to contact us to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your specific situation.
This blog post is made available for educational and informational purposes only and to promote a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship. Reading this post is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice based on the unique facts of your situation from an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. No representation is made regarding the current state of the information contained in this post. Examples that may be provided in this post are merely for illustrative purposes; the results in your case may be different and no results are guaranteed.