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Can I avoid losing my car during a bankruptcy?

Like most Eugene residents, you probably rely on your car to get to work, go grocery shopping and otherwise get around. If you are forced to be without your vehicle, getting anywhere may be unfeasible without causing further hardship. Unfortunately, your vehicle and other assets may be seized to repay creditors during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Is there any way you can hold onto your personal means of transportation during what is already a difficult time?

You may have a few ways to keep your car during a bankruptcy, states Bankrate. Typically, your home, vehicles and other property may be used to pay your debts before you receive your bankruptcy discharge. The bankruptcy judge may take it into consideration if your vehicle is the only one you own and you need it to get around. After all, you will not be able to pay your bills if you have no way to get to work. You might be able to take advantage of the state or federal motor vehicle exemption to protect your car. The exemption protects a certain amount in equity from seizure by creditors, which may possibly cover the entire value of your car.

Rather than filing for Chapter 7, you might hold onto more of your assets, including vehicles, by filing or converting to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You would typically have more flexibility with Chapter 13, since this type of bankruptcy allows you to repay your debts over three to five years instead of liquidating your assets. Bankruptcy law is complex, especially when it pertains to protecting your assets; therefore, this information should not replace the advice of an attorney.

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