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Can they take away an ATV during Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Marina, CA |

can they take away my son's recreational all terrain vehicle?

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Attorney answers 4


If you owe money on it, then yes....if you refuse to make payments to the lender.
If it is free and clear, then probably not. The ch 13 trustee is usually not
interested in liquidating vehicles.


If there is a loan on the vehicle, and if there is a deficiency, then under a chapter 13 plan that deficiency must be paid and the loan payments must be made in a timely manner. If either of these things does not happen in a timely manner then yes, the vehicle can be subject to repossession.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies can be relatively complex, and so I hate to answer one question about one asset without stepping back and taking a view of the overall plan. There may be something more obviously amiss here and the ATV is just the first warning bell. So, I highly suggest that you have your bankruptcy attorney, or a bankruptcy attorney, review the plan.

This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.


Simple answer - yes they "can". The real question is will they? Probably not depending on how you set up your chapter 13 plan and the facts of your case - you just need to make sure to provide/protect it in the chapter 13 paperwork. There aren't enough facts for a better answer.

Good luck with your situation.

Matthew Williamson
California Attorney, Monterey, Santa Cruz County


I agree with what my colleagues have stated. However, I would like to add that payments on an ATV will likely be construed as an unnecessary expense. If so, you would not be allowed to include the expense of the ATV as part of your budget. If you are not paying your unsecured creditors in full, the argument could be made that you are paying your ATV loan at the expense of other creditors. Thus, you could be in a situation where you would be forced to stop making payments on the ATV which in turn would cause you to lose the vehicle. Its just another thing you should consider in a Chapter 13 case. To get a complete answer to your question you should ask a local bankruptcy attorney or your attorney if you have one. Hope this helps. Take care.


Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.