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Can a creditor take my car that's paid for and worth less than the state exemption if I have another car I'm still paying for?

Rock Hill, SC |

I live in SC where the state exemption for a car is $ 5000 . The paid for car is a 2002 Toyota Echo and the car I owe money on is a 2011 Toyota Saris which I owe $ 15000 and worth less than I owe . So basically I own 2 cars . One that's paid for and the other I still owe money on .

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Attorney answers 2


If the Echo is work substantially more than $5000 (probably not), then the creditor could (probably won't) execute their judgment against you by attaching the Echo. BUT, when the creditor sells your car they would have to turn the first $5000 over to you.

Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.



But what effect if any does having an additional car have on the state exemption for the echo?

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber


The Saris has no equity, right? There is no affect.


They can't sell the Saris, since it is worth less than you owe. They can only sell the Echo if it is worth more than the exemption amount, which gets adjusted every so often for cost of living adjustments, and is now $5,625.00. To check the book value of the vehicle, use the link to Kelley Blue Book below, and check the values between private party value and retail value to get an estimate. You should then deduct from the blue book value for any repairs that need to be done to the car that might make it worth less than book value. You may also be able to claim a wild card in the amount of $5,625.00, which may allow you to protect a car worth twice as much as the vehicle exemption, but use of the wild card depends on other factors that would require an attorney consultation.

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