If you are wondering whether you can keep your car when you file for bankruptcy in Georgia, the answer is yes if the value does not exceed $5,000. Under Georgia Code Annotated § 44-13-100 (a)(3), the motor vehicle bankruptcy exemption has been increased to $5,000. This means you can keep your vehicle if your equity in the vehicle is less than the exemption amount. So if you filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7, the trustee cannot sell your car to pay your creditors as long as the value of your vehicle or multiple vehicles combined do not exceed $5,000.
Combining the Wildcard and Unused Homestead Exemptions
However, you can increase your exemption by more if your use the Georgia $600.00 wildcard exemption, which can be used towards the value of any of your assets, plus any unused portion of your homestead exemption up to $5,000. This means you would have an additional exemption of $5,600 added to the statutory $5,000 motor vehicle exemption. So if your car is worth $8,000, you would be able to keep it by using the wildcard exemption and any unused portion of your homestead exemption. Married couples can double their bankruptcy exemptions, including the wildcard and homestead exemptions.
Types of Vehicles Covered Under the Georgia Bankruptcy Motor Vehicle Exemption
Any car, truck, motorcycle, van and other vehicles may be covered under the Georgia motor vehicle bankruptcy exemption. The motor vehicle bankruptcy exemption can be used for more than one vehicle that you may own as long as the combined value of your vehicles does not exceed the allowable exemption amount.
Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney
Since bankruptcy laws are complex and changes in the bankruptcy laws may occur, it is recommended that you speak with a Georgia bankruptcy attorney before you decide to file for bankruptcy. The attorney can provide you with information about Georgia’s bankruptcy laws and motor vehicle and other exemptions and recommend other options to help you with your financial situation.
If you would like to discuss your case options contact my office immediately.