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If your married and file chapter 7 if we have a car each will we lose one?

Jacksonville, FL |

We may have to file chapter 7. My wife and I have a car each, will we lose one? Or can we keep one for each?

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Attorney answers 2


Too simple of a question. This depends on how much "equity" you have in the cars. Figure out the used average retail value of each car and how much, if anything, is owed on the car notes as of the date that the petition is to be filed. Then, check to see it the Florida exemptions cover it. If so, you SHOULD be all set. But, NEVER file a bankruptcy petition until you know for sure if your exemptions cover your property, otherwise the trustee does have the power to "administer" assets, which means to sell them and pay of some debts.

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


In Florida the exemption limits for married joint-petitioners are $1,000 per car for two cars, or if you have only one car then $2,000 for the car.

If after calculating everything, there is no equity remaining, the trustee cannot touch your car. If there is some equity left, then the trustee may make you pay an amount to cover any equity not already accounted for under the note and the exemption to let you keep your car. If you cannot make that payment, then the trustee may seize and liquidate the car. In some cases, the trustee may agree to a payment plan, even in a chapter 7.