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Bankruptcy: Keeping Cars And Real Estate When Filing Chapter 7

Whether or not bankruptcy filers can keep any individual piece of property depends on many factors, including how much property is owned and what exemptions are available to cover the property. Volumes are available on whether or not the individual or couple qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Here is a summary. In 2005 Congress amended the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and those changes included the imposition of what is called a "means test". If your household's average monthly income over the 6 calendar months before your filing date is less than the census bureau's statistics for current monthly income in your state, then you qualify for a chapter 7 discharge. If not, then you would likely qualify for a chapter 13, which requires that you pay a certain percentage of your debts in a "plan" over the next three to five years. Even though bankruptcy law is federal, the next question is whether all of your assets, including any equity value in your real estate, car(s) or other property is protected by exemptions available under your state law. Finally, bankruptcy requires review of your entire financial situation including all debts, income and assets. I highly recommend that you seek representation from an attorney in your jurisdiction who is experienced in bankruptcy law.

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This guide 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.

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