Can You Keep Your House Or Car After Filing For Bankruptcy?

When good people fall on hard times and begin considering getting a fresh start through bankruptcy, perhaps the most feared potential losses are one's house and car. Transportation has become a necessity in terms of gainful employment and everyone needs a roof over their heads.

In Virginia, the law allows for a variety of bankruptcy "exemptions" and with the help of an experienced personal bankruptcy attorney, you may be able to keep your house and car. At the Law Office of Deborah N. Arthur, we work with everyday people just like you to help them get the fresh start they deserve. We won't judge you, criticize you or talk down to you — we have your best interest in mind and work with the sole purpose of helping you make your life better.

How Can I Keep My Car In Chapter 7 Virginia Bankruptcy?

Most individuals and couples utilize Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a way to wipe out excessive debt and retain certain property. Virginia, like other states, has a defined list of property that's exempt and maximum dollar amounts for that property. In many cases, automobiles enjoy an exemption of up to $6,000 in equity. If you and your spouse file a joint bankruptcy, you may be able to double the dollar values on some exemptions.

Automobiles occupy a somewhat unique place in a bankruptcy filing. While a vehicle worth less than $6,000 may be set aside, higher valued automobiles with existing loans can open the door to some legal opportunities. For example, if you took out a car loan and have $7,000 of equity in the property, the vehicle may still be under water. In other words, it may not be able to be liquidated to effectively pay creditors. If you can afford to pay the loan, however, you may be able to avoid repossession and hold on to the car under certain circumstances by filing a reaffirmation agreement.

How Can I Keep My House In Virginia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Keeping a family home in bankruptcy comes down to several factors in Virginia. First, do you have considerable equity in the property? If the answer is no, or the mortgage is upside down, then you probably have little to worry about. If you have paid down that long-term note or are in a somewhat unique position of having your value increase considerably, you may need to look into a Chapter 13 filing to protect that investment.

The key to keeping your home will be making the mortgage payments. If you fall behind on the secured loan payments, at some point the bank will be able to foreclose on the property. When facing the proposition of bankruptcy, it's imperative to consult with an experienced attorney and develop a plan to prioritize your payment schedules and get the best possible outcome.

Work With An Experienced Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyer

When rising expenses exceed your ability to make payments, good hardworking people simply need a fresh start. Bankruptcy is designed with that idea in mind — and keeping important items such as your home and automobile will allow you to rebuild. If you are contemplating bankruptcy, call the Law Office of Deborah N. Arthur at 703-278-2028 or contact us online for a consultation. From our office in Annandale, we help people throughout Northern Virginia.