Posted On: April 13, 2010

Your Car and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A Sacramento bankruptcy attorney says: Is Your Car Seriously Upside Down? Redeem It!

Consistent with the fresh start goals of consumer bankruptcy a person filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can redeem their cars and pay its actual value in full instead of the loan amount and interest. This makes sense if the car is worth substantially less than the loan you applied for.

The first step is to find the price that a car dealer would charge for your car in its current condition. Alternatively, you could find the value of your car in excellent condition and deduct the amount it would cost to make the car marketable. The cost would include interior and exterior detailing, mechanical repairs, and the cost of any replacement parts.

Next you will have to find financing that matches the actual value of your car. Typical financing companies will provide the loan amount at 26% interest. Yes that’s high but the amount saved by paying a lesser principal may save you money and even lower your payment.

If you can either afford to pay the actual value or get approved for a loan then it may make more sense to redeem the car even though the latter option is at a higher interest.

Ensure that the price is reflected in your bankruptcy petition in Schedule B and that it is your intention to redeem the car in the Statement of Intention.

The Bankruptcy Code requires a filer to either exempt the car in interest or it be abandoned from the bankruptcy estate. The latter requirement requires a request to the court to compel the standing Chapter 7 trustee to abandon it and a $150 fee to the bankruptcy court. Exempting the car is the better route because no additional fee is required.

Next its best to be proactive and draft a motion to redeem prior to filing the case. Make sure the motion to redeem includes the value of the car, whether its exempt or abandoned and that its for personal use.

The petition is now consistent with a motion to redeem. After filing and learning who the trustee is, file your motion to redeem.

Once the redemption is approved the actual value must be paid in full within 30 days.

If you have questions regarding Bankruptcy in Sacramento please contact us at (916) 492-6020 in Sacramento or (916) 724-1690 in Roseville for a free consultation or visit and we can connect you with one of our experienced Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorneys. After you have spoken with one of our Sacramento bankruptcy attorneys, we can schedule you for a free face to face appointment in an office location nearest you. Our team of Sacramento Bankruptcy Lawyers can assist you with all aspects of your bankruptcy or legal debt settlement case. If you have questions about filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or would like to learn more about bankruptcy litigation, legal debt settlement, mortgage modification, lien stripping, cram down, stopping a foreclosure, wage garnishment, asset protection, discharging a debt, etc. we can help! We have bankruptcy attorneys located throughout California and Oregon who can assist you with all of your debt resolution questions. Please feel free to complete our free online bankruptcy evaluation and we can quickly determine if you are a qualified candidate for bankruptcy. We look forward to hearing from you, Sacramento and Roseville!

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