Can I Keep My House and Car in Ohio When Filing Bankruptcy?

A common question from those who are filing bankruptcy is can I keep my house and car in Ohio when filing a Chapter 7 or 13. The answers are not really straightforward as they hinge on a number of factors.

Understanding Auto Exemptions in Bankruptcy

Under bankruptcy laws, certain assets are exempt. In the case of your automobile, if the car is completely paid off and is valued at $3,450.00 or less, you can keep it. If you still owe money on your car, the loan amount is added to the $3,450.00. In the event you are filing jointly, both spouses may use this exemption on two vehicles. If you are currently behind on payments, you may have to be current in order to keep the vehicle. In some cases, the lender may request you “reaffirm” the loan, that is you agree that the loan will not be included in your bankruptcy. This should be carefully reviewed with your bankruptcy attorney.

Your Home and Bankruptcy

One of the most common reasons for filing an Ohio bankruptcy is you are facing home foreclosure. Keep in mind, your lender has no real interest in taking the home from you. Once you have sat with your bankruptcy attorney and evaluated your current financial situation, you may be able to work out a plan where you can get current on your mortgage payments which would allow you to keep your home. Typically this is done by either offering a five-year plan of repayment as part of the bankruptcy filing or by working with the lender to restructure your loan.

There is no easy answer for anyone who is questioning what assets they may retain in a bankruptcy. Every situation is different and in some cases, your house and car may have to be sold to meet the criteria for filing bankruptcy. One thing to keep in mind is that it is imperative you not transfer the title of any motor vehicles prior to filing bankruptcy as the court may deem this action as fraudulent.

At Chris Wesner Law Office, LLC we will work with you to determine what is best for your individual needs. We will help you decide which chapter of the bankruptcy code works best for your specific needs and we’ll do our level best to help you keep the assets that are most important to you.

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