& Service -

Tailored To The Individual

Can I keep my car if I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2023 | Bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can grant you a much-needed reprieve when you have no other option left for repaying your debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy entails liquidating all of your non-exempt assets, though, so you might wonder whether or not you will get to keep your car in the process.

It goes without saying that many people rely on their vehicles as a means to get to work and continue earning their income. You might have second thoughts about filing for bankruptcy if it means losing your car, so it is important to understand whether or not you will be able to keep it.

When can a trustee force me to sell my car?

If it comes to light that your vehicle is not exempt from liquidating as part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, the trustee assigned to your case can choose to sell it as a way of repaying your creditors. Missouri’s list of exempt properties states that any motor vehicle up to $3,000 in value is exempt during bankruptcy. If your vehicle’s equity falls within that amount, the trustee cannot sell your car.

How do I determine my car’s equity?

Your car’s equity is equal to its fair market value minus the cost of any car loans you might have. It can be in your best interest to have documentation on hand from a reputable appraiser proving the fair market value of your car when negotiating with your bankruptcy trustee.

If the equity of your car is within the $3,000 or less threshold provided by Missouri law, then you can keep your car even if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your vehicle is exempt and your trustee or creditors attempt to sell it regardless, it may be necessary to pursue further legal action.



Practice Areas

Bankruptcy Law


Personal Injury


Criminal Defense


Medicaid Planning


Estate Planning & Probate

Estate Planning
& Probate