Can I combine exemptions?

Asked over 1 year ago - Armonk, NY

I am filing chapter 7, I have a car that is worth $8000 and it is all paid off. I am not taking a homestead exemption. can I add a wildcard exemption on top of the car exemption to exempt the whole car?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. John M. Crane


    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you select the federal exemption, you most certainly can take the standard vehicle exemption and use the wildcard for the balance.

  2. Aaron Matthew Tomczak

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As previously stated, you must select a law....Federal or State. Thereafter, assuming Federal exemptions as those numbers indicate, you may be able to use the auto exemption, and the wildcard.


  3. Jonathan David Warner


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The short answer is "Yes." The other attorneys are correct in stating that you cannot combine Federal and State exemptions. Thus, assuming that the Wildcard within your chosen exemption scheme will accommodate the additional value of your car, there should not be a problem.
    Good luck with your petition!

  4. Ronald S. Cook

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . Be CAREFUL that you do not exceed your wildcard. I assume you are filing as a single individual with the following math. With federal exemptions, you can excmpt $3,450 on the car plus you can use some wildcard.
    The car might not be $8,000. Did you run the KBB on your car and use the PRIVATE SALE value? If it is 8,000, then you would have to use $4,550 of the wildcard to cover the car.
    However, what else did you use the wildcard for regarding assets on your schedule B?
    In filing SOLO, you have 1,150 + any amount up to the homstead exemption up to $10,825 that you can apply via federal wild card above and beyond the AUTO exemption. Sicne you're not using the homestead, you can take 11,975 against any assets. If you use $4,550 of the wildcard to cover the car, that leaves you with $7,425 to cover any other assets that don't already have a legitimate exemption.
    I have had clients that have many assets on schedule B that require wild card exemption but they did not have enough. When that happens, you can cut a deal with the trustee on an "equity offer"
    Let me know if you need help with that or if you need the exemptions chart.
    Ron Cook

  5. Theodore Lyons Araujo


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Yes.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and... more

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