What source of reference (in Georgia) is considered to be acceptable in valuation of a motor vehicle when applying the state exemptions ? Is the debtor allowed to self-value the vehicle, or are more sophisticated (and trustworthy) sources (i.e. KBB, Edmunds, etc) given consideration ?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
You can use Kelley Blue Book, NADA, or other guide as a starting point. You can also use comparative listings from Auto Trader or similar site. The point is to have some sort of basis for saying what it's worth beyond your own estimation (unless you also happen to be a car dealer as dealer estimates are also acceptable). Then, if your vehicle needs repairs or has body damage you can deduct the cost of those from the value. Be prepared to support any such costs with written estimates from a mechanic or auto body shop.
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Use trade in value
You should be using an attorney. We offer in house legal aid. Call for a proposal.
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Valuation issues are typically addressed by an individual bankruptcy trustee. In most communities, there are several trustees and your case will be randomly assigned to a trustee after it is filed. A local lawyer will know the trustee preferences, you will not. Hope this perspective helps!
The Northern District of Georgia uses the NADA average retail value to determine valuation of vehicles in a chapter 13 case where you are looking to pay the value of the vehicle through the plan rather than the debt amount. If you are dealing with a chapter 7 case where there might be non-exempt equity in the vehicle, this is done more on a case by case and trustee by trustee value. As a chapter 7 trustee is looking to determine whether he or she can sell the vehicle, pay you your exemption, pay costs associated with the sale, storage, auction fees, etc., this is something to be looked at by your bankruptcy attorney prior to filing. If there is danger of equity in the vehicle being over and above exemptions, your attorney can discuss your options, including paying the value in a chapter 13, or even coming up with a settlement amount with the trustee to keep the car.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
First of all, don't think of filing without counsel. A small misstep can be very costly. My office would be glad to speak with you and handles Newnan division cases.
NADA is really the best to use (and is widely used in the court). If the vehicle clearly has no or little equity, using KBB or Edmunds is going to usually be okay. I note many debtors overstate the condition of their car and don't take into account legitimate adjustments, something an attorney will know how to do.
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Even if you give a value to your attorney, the attorney will probably check KBB and Edmunds to verify the amount. Of course, the condition of the car is important, but generally I use KBB and Edmunds to get an idea.
I am in Peachtree City and would be happy to meet with you to discuss your bankruptcy needs.