Can I Keep My Car in Bankruptcy?

Today I had a phone call from a potential client. She had just received a notice that her wages were going to be garnished. She was concerned that if her wages were garnished her family wouldn’t be able to pay their remaining bills to keep the lights on and food in the pantry. A co-worker of hers had suggested a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. She was interested in the “fresh start” that offered but was concerned if she could keep her vehicle if she filed bankruptcy. She explained that her vehicle was only a year old, she was current on her payments, and some other details.

I was able to assure that if she wanted to, she could keep her car. The choice was hers.


If you are considering bankruptcy, it is important to consider the different factors in your specific case that will affect the answer for you. These factors include:

  • The amount of equity you have in the vehicle. Equity is the amount your car is worth minus any debt you owe on it.
  • Whether you are current (or can get current) on your car payments.
  • Whether you want to keep your car. You have the option of surrendering your vehicle as part of your fresh start.

Bankruptcy Can Be a Fresh Start

The first time I was asked to assist with a bankruptcy case, my initial reaction was, “OK, I’ll take one for the team, but this isn’t something I want to do.”

That first case completely changed my perspective. It was a mom and dad who had 2 young kids. In the past the dad had a very good job as a truck driver hauling hazardous materials. The previous year, he lost that contract and his earnings dropped by over 60%. That same year, his wife was injured and required a number of medical procedures. In the space of a few months, they went from being a stable family of four living within their means, to being in debt, behind on payments, and with medical collection agencies calling them constantly for unpaid medical bills. And if this family could have paid those bills, they would have. The money simply wasn’t there.

We were able to use the bankruptcy laws to help this family get a fresh start. They were able to erase roughly $50,000 of debt. This allowed them a FRESH START.  Once again, they were able to save for their kids college and think of a positive future.

And they loved me and were very grateful to me for helping them get that Fresh Start. But the truth it, all I did is walk them through the process of applying the bankruptcy laws on their behalf. Yet, they were SO GRATEFUL.

That has been a common theme among many of my bankruptcy clients. They never wanted to be behind on bills, fear having their wages garnished, or switch phone numbers just to avoid harassing collection phone calls. And we are able to STOP that… and help them START FRESH.

If you are in need of IMMEDIATE DEBT RELIEF, we may be able to help you get that FRESH START.