Can I keep my car if I file chapter 7 bankruptcy

Facing the possibility of bankruptcy is a difficult time for most people. One of the biggest questions people have when contemplating filing bankruptcy is if they can keep their assets. Different kinds of bankruptcy have different benefits and drawbacks when it comes to the debtor. One of the major advantages of filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is that it allows you to keep various assets that would other wise be surrendered when trying to pay off debts and filing bankruptcy. Cars and homes are two of the biggest assets that most people have.

One of them most commonly asked questions people have when facing bankruptcy is “Can I keep my vehicle if I file bankruptcy?” Under chapter 7 bankruptcy, the answer is yes in most cases. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows that as long as the vehicle is owned by the person filing bankruptcy and is worth less than the maximum allowable value for exemption amount of the state that the person is filing bankruptcy in. Different states have different exemption laws, so it is important to find out what the laws are in your state before filling bankruptcy.

The answer becomes more complicated if you do not own the vehicle you wish to keep, either because you are still making payments on it, or because it is a leased vehicle. Laws very from state to state, but, in most cases, if the payments are current than you will be able to keep the vehicle. If you are leasing the vehicle you usually have the option of breaking your lease agreement without occurring any penalties and returning the vehicle or keeping the vehicle under the current terms.

Where your options under Chapter 7 bankruptcy law become complicated is when you are making payments on vehicle you plan to own in the future. Most states give you several options. You can keep the terms of the loan as they are, without making any changes, you can renegotiate the loan or resign the loan under what is called a reaffirmation agreement, or you can agree to pay the lender a lump sum more or less equal to the vehicles current worth, under what is known as a redemption payment. Each state has different policies, so you need to make sure that you understand the law in your state.

In any case the first thing you should do is call you lender and inform them that you are planing on filing on bankruptcy, but wish to keep your vehicle. Your lender may have certain policies for dealing with bankruptcies, and it is important to understand all of your options before proceeding.

Because the law is complicated, it is very important to consult a bankruptcy lawyer when filling for bankruptcy. Your lawyer will have more specific information concerning your case, and will able to provide you with a more specific answer about which assets you will be able to keep, and what you will have to do in order to be able to keep them.

1. “Should I file bankruptcy now or wait
2. “About chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions
3. What property can I keep after a chapter 7 bankruptcy?

What property can I keep after a chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a difficult decision that most people try and avoid if at all possible, especially since filing stays on one’s credit report for 10 years. But for many circumstances force their hands and bankruptcy becomes inevitible. Under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, debtors pay back debts over an extended period of time, but when that isn’t possible some will file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy which will cancel many of their debts.

However, just because someone has filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy doesn’t mean they can live in luxury. Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a humbling experience, one that requires many to scale back to the necessities, take inventory of their possesions and prioritize their lives. Excessive posessions will be liquidated in order to pay creditors at least a portion of what is owed.

But of course, no one expects people to live with absolutely nothing. For this reason there are limits on what property one is allowed to keep. Many people find these limits quite reasonable, and well worth the peace of mind that comes from no more collection calls.

Exact values of what is allowed can vary somewhat depending on what state a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is filed in.

  1. The first thing you get to keep is $20,200 of value in your residence. This means those with a large amount of equity in a home, may need to refinance to pay off some bills before being condisered. However, for those who rent, this should not be a factor.
  2. You are also allowed to keep your vehicle valued up to $3225. This is the Market Value, minus any loans against it. Household items values at up to $10,775 are also considered exempt, except no individual item can be valued at more than $525. Jewlery and heirlooms up to $1225 may be kept. Tools of the trade, valued to $1850 may be kept, this includes anything which is deemed necessary to earn one’s livelihood.
  3. You may also continue to receive a reasonable amount of alimony or child support, and public benefits, such as unemployment, worker’s compensation, Veteran’s benefits or social security are also safe. Retirement accounts, such as 401Ks, should also be left in tact.
  4. In addition to liquidating assets down to these levels, filers of Chapter 7 backruptcy must also meet median income guidelines, and complete credit counseling before filing.

Loan modification
Can I keep my car if I file chapter 7 bankruptcy

How to report bankruptcy fraud

When an individual or a business goes through a bankruptcy, there is the temptation to hide assets in order to escape having to pay off creditors. This is such a concern that the Justice Department of the United States gives instructions on how to report someone who may be involved in bankruptcy fraud.

The first thing that is required is a written summary detailing the alleged event. This is to establish the time, place and exactly what happened. Written documentation is very important because it can establish the fraud in a court of law. It is much stronger than a simple accusation by one person who may have a personal grudge against someone else. A person who is owed money by a business going into bankruptcy may try to make trouble for the owners of the company by reporting that they are committing fraud.

  1. Write down is the name and address of the person or business to be reported.
  2. The name of the bankruptcy case, along with the number of the case and where it was filed. Include information to exactly identify the people or business involved so there is no doubt or confusion.
  3. Give information about the alleged fraud, when it took place and how this information was attained. Always submit supporting documents along with the report.
  4. Detail all of the assets being hidden by type and dollar value as well as the amount of unreported income and anything that was omitted or intentionally undervalued. Include your contact information including name, address, email address and telephone number. It is not a requirement to identify youself, but can be very helpful should the Justice Department decide to investigate the matter.

Making an accusation about bankruptcy fraud is a serious matter. It should only be considered if the facts are present to prove it. Being angry at someone for not paying their debts is no reason to falsely report them for this crime. The Justice Department will take your information seriously and will take the appropriate steps according to the documentation provided.

To report suspected bankruptcy fraud, please visit, ““.

Also read,
1. Avoiding Bankruptcy Fraud

What is bankruptcy fraud

What to Look for in Bankruptcy Fraud

Bankruptcy is a way for individuals and businesses to legally dispose of debt without having to pay all or only portion of that debt to the creditors because of insolvency. There are different types of bankruptcy. The type filed determines their stipulations and the conditions. Bankruptcy is an option that gives individuals and businesses an opportunity to start over financially when unforeseen circumstances develop such as extremely high and unexpected medical bills or businesses that have not been able to survive, financially, for some reason.

When filing a bankruptcy petition through the Court, the petitioner must give information in writing. This information includes many things such as a list of all of their debt and a list of all their assets. The Court goes by this information for the processing of the bankruptcy. It needs to be accurate. The petitioner needs to be honest.

Individuals and businesses need to pay close attention to whom they trust when they go to file bankruptcies. They need to have licensed professionals such as attorneys handling the process. Checking with the Better Business Bureau will help insure that the petitioners are dealing with a legitimate entity.

Bankruptcy is filed as a last resort to overcome financial burdens that are impossible to be resolved in any other manner. There are many who are willing to lie to keep what they can. Unfortunately, there are many scams out there for the honest and hard working.
According to Cornell University, bankruptcy fraud can occur when the petitioner tries to hide some of their assets or funds, submit or file their petition in many states or file false or incomplete statements. In other words, the petitioner purposely does not list certain assets that they own because they do not want to loose them to their creditors. They give them to someone for safe keeping. They might hide their unreported funds, possibly in an offshore account. If the petitioner files in more than one state, it will slow down the bankruptcy process and is usually done to hide their assets or funds. False or incomplete statements might be filed by a fake and so called financial advisor, who scams the petitioner out of monies that they have charged them for their services. This entity is called petition mills. By the time the petitioner realizes what has happened, they are in worse financial shape than before.

1. “Should I consider Pre bankruptcy credit counseling?
2. “What types of bankruptcy can an individual file?
3. “Can you file bankruptcy to stop wage garnishment?

Should I file bankruptcy now or wait

Given the currently financial climate in the U.S. today there are many people that have found themselves in a financial crisis the likes of which no one could have anticipated. Many people have been either, “laid off” or “downsized”. Now many families are faced with the questions like, “Can we afford groceries this month or should we keep the lights on?” And a large number of these people are seniors so the questions they ponder on are, “Can I get my medications this month and keep my lights on?” or “I will go ahead and get some food, keep my lights on and I will get my medicine next month.”

With the rising costs of day to day living and what income is coming in a lot of people have decided to file bankruptcy in Ohio. Although, a good number of people file bankruptcy in New Jersey as well, but the truth of the matter is that this final option is happening to people across the county. But exactly who will it work for?

Before you decide to file it’s best to speak with a bankruptcy attorney in order to way your options. Timing a bankruptcy filing wisely can have a significant impact on your future Bankruptcy will stick with your credit for 7-10 years. An attorney will also calculate your total income; match it up against your total debt. This is called a “means test”. This test is to ascertain whether or not the bankruptcy trustee of the court will even bother hearing your case to begin with. Your attorney my also suggest that you take in to consideration any future debt that you will or are about to incur. Sometimes it’s best to wait until you have exhausted all your financial and credit options and or responsibilities this way it can be included in your bankruptcy. The courts will look at your spending very carefully over a 6-10 month period to see is you are committing any fraudulent transactions. If the court feels as though you are they will not only throw your case out but they might in turn come after you for fraud.

The courts will look at 6 to 10 months of your financial statements very carefully to see if you have committed fraud in your means test. If the court feels as though you are they will not only throw your case out but they might in turn come after you for fraud.

For most people that have found themselves in these types of situations filing for bankruptcy has helped. It gave them an opportunity to get their lives back on track and learn to keep a close watch of how and what they spend. The age of living beyond your means is over. (Not that you should have been living that way in the first place.) However, for people most getting the chance to make life a bit less stressful makes of the difference in the world.

You should also read, “About chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions” and “Does bankruptcy stop wage garnishment“.

Does bankruptcy stop wage garnishment

Wage Garnishment and Bankruptcy

In order to answer the question,” Does bankruptcy stop wage garnishment?” the simple answer is “yes.” However, it is important to note that in some instances, the stopping of the garnishment may be short-lived. Upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition, there is a provision of the bankruptcy code that goes into affect known as the “Automatic Stay.” The Automatic Stay is a court order that protects the debtor from all further collection activity, including wage garnishment.

That being said, the affect of bankruptcy on wage garnishment is truly dependant upon what the garnishment is for. While the Automatic Stay does protect the debtor initially from wage garnishment, such creditors as the Internal Revenue Service, child support recipients, and student loan creditors may file a motion with the court to have the stay lifted in order to continue with the garnishment. If and when approved, such creditors will be allowed to resume the garnishment.

IRS Wage Garnishment and Bankruptcy

While the filing of a bankruptcy petition will initially stop an IRS wage garnishment, it does not automatically mean the debt will be eliminated. The type of IRS debt, whether or not certain conditions are applicable, and the type of bankruptcy filed are determining factors. Typically, with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, income tax debts may be discharged (eliminated). Taxes such as payroll taxes and trust fund taxes are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, the benefit to filing bankruptcy when large tax debts are owed is that interest and other fees will stop accruing.

It is important that debtors immediately notify their employers upon the filing of their bankruptcy petition. In addition, notification to those creditors who may be garnishing their wages should be sent right away as well. If, after the filing of a bankruptcy petition, a debtor’s wages are still garnished and said wages were properly exempted, the debtor may be entitled to a return of said monies. If the wages are not exempt, the bankruptcy trustee may file a motion to have them turned over to the estate for the benefit of all unsecured creditors.

Learn about, “Bankruptcy alternatives

Bankruptcy alternatives

Are there alternatives to bankruptcy?

The simple answer is, yes. There are alternatives to bankruptcy that should be well understood before anyone makes a decision to go bankrupt. A sense of responsibility about debt is a good thing and knowing what went wrong in the first place will help lead the way out. Most people would rather pay off their debts but some situations simply can not be avoided.

One way to deal with a debt situation is to do nothing. If there are no assets to garnish or win in a court case, no one will want to spend money trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip. They will simply write off the debt and forget about it.

A second way to deal with bankruptcy is to cut back on spending and pay off the debts slowly. Any creditor will usually want to work with someone to pay off a debt. They know that bankruptcy is an option in which they are not likely to see any money. Getting a part of the money or all of it over a longer period of time is better than none at all.

Thirdly, a business can ask their creditors to restructure a loan so that the debtor can take a breather and pay what they can afford given their current cash flow. This is often allowed in hopes of better business in the future. Should I hire a debt settlement lawyer?

Fourthly, debts can be consolidated into one loan with a monthly payment that is affordable. Various bills can pile up and cause a serious drain on monthly cash flow. When these are put into one loan, the monthly cash flow can improve dramatically.

Life is real. Sometimes there are tough decisions to make. When the rubber meets the road, consider the options and make a stand.

1. Should I file bankruptcy now or wait?
2. Can I file bankruptcy on my own online?

Filing for bankruptcy online

Can you file bankruptcy online

Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision to make and the bankruptcy process can be quite stressful. To help take some of this stress away there are free-bankruptcy sites that can help you determine what type of bankruptcy you qualify for. While most people qualify for Chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcy, it is important to file for the correct bankruptcy.

There are also other online conveniences when it comes to filing your bankruptcy online, such as software that can help you fill out the forms and the ability to file the bankruptcy paperwork online through PACER. However, it is important to show up in court to represent your case during the mandatory 341-creditors meeting. You will have to be present for this, regardless of how you filed your bankruptcy. This will be the time that you can meet with the judge to state your case.

If you choose to file your bankruptcy online you can download the forms from court’s website. It is important to fill these forms out completely and save a copy for yourself. When the forms have been completed you can register with PACER, Public Access to Court Electronic Records, to file your bankruptcy. There is a fee to registering for PACER.
When filing for bankruptcy it is important to follow these steps:

  1. Make a list of all the creditor you owe money to.
  2. Find out what type of bankruptcy you qualify for, this can be done online.
  3. Download the bankruptcy forms.
  4. Keep a copy of the forms after they have been filled out.
  5. Register for PACER to file your bankruptcy papers online.
  6. File your bankruptcy papers online
  7. Show up for the 341-creditors meeting.

It is advised to hire an attorney to help you through this process. You can contact the local bar association to help you find a pro bono lawyer to help you file this claim if you cannot afford an attorney.

Once you have filed for bankruptcy it is advised not to use your credit cards, because this will work against you during the final court hearing for this case.

1. “Can you declare bankruptcy on student loans
2. “Pre bankruptcy credit counseling
3. “About chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions
4. “Home loans after bankruptcy discharge

Home loans after bankruptcy discharge

Can i qualify for a mortgage after bankruptcy

Although bankruptcy eliminates some or all of your personal debt, it causes severe damage to your credit score. Many people who file bankruptcy have trouble qualifying for a regular credit card, so what chance do they have of obtaining a mortgage. Luckily this damage to your credit is only temporary and in as little as 2 years after your bankruptcy is discharged, you can qualify for a mortgage.

How to qualify for an FHA loan after bankruptcy

If you’re wondering where to get home loans after bankruptcy? Don’t look any further than the FHA. The FHA loan is a federal assistance loan program insured by the Federal Housing Administration. It’s purpose is to insure loans so lenders can offer better terms and many times accept borrowers who may not have qualified by traditional means.

In order to obtain an FHA loan after bankruptcy you need to reestablish your credit and prove you can manage your financial affairs. Re-establishing credit can be as simple as opening a new credit card account after the bankruptcy is discharged and maintaining that card responsibly.

The FHA will also consider people who decide to refrain from using credit after their bankruptcy. If you decide not to incur new credit, the FHA will use non-traditional credit such as rental and other credit as a means to prove financial responsibility.They’re looking for a history of on-time payments.

If you have a stable job, the financial means to pay the mortgage and you’ve re-established credit, and you filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy this is all that is required to qualify for an FHA loan. If you filed Chapter 13 you need to have made your last 12 payments on time and have written permission from the court to enter into a mortgage.

Applying for an FHA loan after bankruptcy is as simple as going to your local lender. You’ll still need to complete a traditional loan application. You need proof of your income, assets and credit worthiness. You may also need to have an explanation of the bankruptcy, and why the events that led up to it are not likely to recur.

Now that you know where to get home loans after bankruptcy, you can see that homeownership is possible. Bankruptcy has helped many people get back on their feet and re-establish their credit, and with the help of FHA loans, they also have the ability to buy a house.

1. Can you file bankruptcy on federal student loans?

Can you declare bankruptcy on student loans

Can you declare bankruptcy on student loans? For the most part the answer to this question is no. As of 1998, student loans can not longer be discharged through bankruptcy. Most laws are written with an exception to the rules in mind and thus, there is a small loophole that can be of assistance in very rare cases.

Part of the balance of student loans can be discharged through bankruptcy if the borrower can prove that repayment of the loans will cause an undue hardship on the borrower. The key here is found in the phrase “provide a minimum standard of living.” This means that if for some reason or reasons the borrower can not provide a minimum standard of living for the borrower and his/her dependents then the student loans may be forgiven through bankruptcy. Because the definition of “minimum standard of living” is a term that is constantly redefined by various government agencies, it becomes important to consult with a legal professional to see if a borrower may meet the criteria needed to use this loophole.

Can student loans be included in chapter 13 bankruptcy

If the borrower is in default of his/her student loans then some hope can sometimes be found by using Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code.

  • Chapter 13 can provide a means to clear up defaulted student loans and provide a repayment plan that may ease the struggle to repay loans.
  • In some cases, Chapter 13 may provide a partial discharge of the student loans. Since Chapter 13 is basically the repayment plan of the bankruptcy code of laws, which protects borrowers from debt collection and would stop collection of student loans.
  • Chapter 13 differs from Chapter 7 bankruptcy because Chapter 13 can eliminate some debts that Chapter 7 can not discharge. The benefit of Chapter 13 is that it allows the debtor the time to repay debts that can not be discharged. This gives the debtor the means to recover a more meaning financial life without abandoning the debtor to the constant struggle of regaining financial freedom.

Legal representatives can be of further assistance in determining the qualifying factors for financial hardship.

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2. “Debt negotiation tips