Question: I need to keep my car if I file bankruptcy, which I need to do to get my debts under control. My debts are getting out of hand and I’m taking out personal loans to pay my credit card bills like my Discover, Visa and Amex credit cards.
I have to have a car to get to work so I want to know if I can keep my car, or am I going to lose it if I file? It’s an old car from 2003; it’s a Buick that I bought used from a friend who was joining the military and going overseas, so I got a good deal on it.
I am working as a nurse at Northside Hospital, so I am making good money each month. But I have to support my mother who has dementia and my autistic sister. So paying for them is causing me to have deep financial problems, which I just don’t think I can get out of anytime in the next five years, or ever.
I always thought I’d get a new car, but something always came up. I got divorced and then I got a new job and then my sister and mother moved into my house and that’s why I never got a new car. And I’m happy that I never got a new car even when my friend got a BMW and another got a Hyundai, which was very nice.
But now I need to keep the car and I want you to answer my question fast.
P.F. in Roswell, GA
Answer: It sounds like you will almost certainly be able to keep your car. The vast majority of bankruptcy filers, whether they file a chapter 7 or a chapter 13, are able to retain their automobiles.
In fact, some people file just so that they can keep their cars.
If a person is behind on their car payments, a chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow them to prevent repossession and to pay-off the arrearage amount over five years.
Indeed, when any bankruptcy is filed, an “automatic stay” goes into effect that prevents a creditor from repossessing it, at least for a certain amount of time.
The bankruptcy law and the bankruptcy trustees and judges understand that people need a means of reliable transportation. People need to live their lives and they need a vehicle to get to work, to go to the doctor and to buy food and medicine. Not having a car would be a major hardship.
Please call us and we can discuss your specific situation and what your next steps should be.
Do you need to file bankruptcy and keep your car? We are Fulton County bankruptcy lawyers. Call us anytime, day or night, at 678-215-4106.
Attorneys Valerie Sherman and Bill Sherman and their friendly and talented team will help you navigate the entire bankruptcy system. We proudly serve the entire Atlanta metro area and North Georgia.