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Can creditors take my car in Florida for unpaid credit card debt?

Tampa, FL |

I owe over 30k in credit card debt that I have not payed on in 9 Months. Several 2k-5k debts to different credit card companies and 1 particular company I owe 20k or more to because multiple cards with them.
My car is a 2005 and its currently worth about 10k but I still owe $5500 to the finance company and have never missed a payment and dont owe them any other money.
With me owing money on it still can it be taken?
What about in 12 months if I pay it off then can it be taken?
is there a 5k exemption, so if i sold it, paid it off and bought a car for 3k then could they take that car?

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Attorney answers 1


Once a creditor obtains a judgment, a levy "technically" can be performed. However, based upon the figures you provided, it may not be a practical remedy for the creditor to pursue. When a collection attorney looks at it realistically, he/she looks at the equity in the vehicle. Based upon your figures there is only about $4,500 of equity. If you do not have a homestead that you claim, you are entitled to $5,000 in general personal property exemptions and $1,000 of equity in a vehicle. In addition, the sheriff normally will require a significant levy deposit that must be paid up front by the creditor. Because you are likely to have exemptions available to cover the equity and because the creditor would be forced to post a deposit without the guarantee of receiving any money back, it's not a reasonable remedy in my opinion. When the car is paid off the landscape may change a bit, but keep in mind that when the car is paid off down the road it will also be worth less.

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