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How worried should I REALLY Be?

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  • How worried should I REALLY Be?

    My Holiday gift from Bb&t? A big fat JUDGEMENT!

    I am planning on filing Ch 7 bk in April, but am worried about my cars in the meantime.

    We were just sent the Fact info and I interrogatories sheet, so they will soon have full access to all my info.

    I live in FL, and do not currently have a job, so my husband will be able to claim Head of Family. We just stopped direct deposit and will be closing down our bank acct his week.

    My biggest concern is them coming after our cars before I file, which are waaaay over values by KBB. We have a 2005 and 1998 both of which need pretty significant repairs. One needs new suspension and has been in a major accident that resulted in frame damage among other things. The other needs a $1500 timing chain replacement, 350 motormount, has a cracked front and faded/scratched paint on most of the car (sun & car wash damage)

    Even with all he necessary repairs, they are worth more to us than buying something new. We know the history.

    Kbb value for each is around $8000. In Florida we get about $6000 each in exemptions. The sheriff levy deposit for autos where I live is $3000.

    How worried should I be? How should I note the necessary repairs? Will they even take that into consideration when valuing the cars. I'd like to be able to use some of my exemption for personal property. Of course if I can't, they can come and get my 10 yr old furniture if they want it. I'll save on moving costs when my lease is up! Lol.

    Debt sucks! I will NEVER take out a mortgage again!! If I can't pay cash, I'm not buying it ! PERIOD!

  • #2
    When we filed for bk in June, I had to come up with an estimate for our 2005 chevy which has some cosmetic problems after an accident. On KBB, the value of our model in good condition was around 8k. I went to an auto body shop down the road, and asked them to give me an estimate of repairs needed for our car. The guy actually took all the info on our car (registration, etc.), did some quick pictures of the problems, and in ten minutes gave us a printout of the work that needs to be done, with prices for the parts and labor. The total was about $4,500 - wa-a-ay over what I had expected. So I estimated our car by the value from KBB minus the repair estimate (and I gave our lawyer the copy of the estimated repairs). It was perfectly acceptable , and trustee didn't question us on the value of our car at all.
    Get an official estimate of repairs needed for your cars to be in good condition, and then subtract that from their KBB value. Hopefully, that will bring their value well within your exemption limits.

    Comment


    • #3
      I kind of agonized about valuing my car as well, after seeing equivalent dealer prices of $8-10,000 (really?) for my 2002 Ford Escape. I compiled a list of values from KBB and NADA, ranging from $2500 to $8,000 (trade-in value fair to good condition,) and estimates for minor body work and new tires. My attorney wasn't interested in my research, and listed the value at $2512, and also listed an amount for a car payment on my expenses, with a note that I needed a new car.

      I stressed over every little thing, but I trusted my lawyer knew what was acceptable in my area, and in the end, nothing was questioned.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks guys! KBB values are definitely crazy high! Off to the repair shop I go!

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't know where you are getting your quotes for exemptions. If you are getting them from an attorney, you need to fire that person.

          In Florida, you are only allowed an exemption of $1,000.00 for a car. A married couple may double. So you have almost no car exemption unless it is covered by a car loan, or it is a junker that has no value. If you can prove that your car(s) are 'junkers' and have no value, then that is good. We had a 2004 VW Jetta Wagon--covered by a car note (also high mileage); a 1993 Pontiac Grand-Am, purchased at auction for about $300.00, and a 1968 Chevy Impala, that had been put in the garage in 2004 when 'Hub was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and NOT since touched when we filed, Dec. 28, 2007.

          Our trustee formally Abandoned Interest in our vehicles, although we were an Asset Case, as "being too old, or otherwise fully-encumbered."

          Florida does not have good exemptions, except for the Homestead. Nor can we use the Federal exemptions, unless you are from another state and are within a certain time-frame.

          You need to schedule several free or low-cost initial consults with different attorneys. Each one may have a different interpretation of how the BK laws will fit your situation.
          "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

          "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for your reply AngelinaCat .

            We are not claiming the homestead exemption, so I thought we would be able to use the wildcard exemption in combination with the auto exemption. Also, if I had to choose between my 7-10 yo RTG and walmart furniture and my car, I'd opt to use the personal property exemption for my car too if need be. They are more than welcome to my furniture!

            We should be able to more than cover the cars with the auto and wildcard exemption though. Both need repairs that will cut their values in half!

            My husband's car can't be worth much in the first place having been in an accident that caused frame damage which Ive Heard is the seal of death when it comes to trying to resell. Couple that with it needing the entire suspension replaced and It should be worth next to nothing as is.

            Oh and AMEN on Florida's stingy exemptions and stupid opt out!! BK laws in florida don't look out for the little people, that's for sure.

            If I had a couple mil of equity in a house I'd be solid!

            Comment


            • #7
              I am not sure that you have any *wildcard* to be able to use. I don't think you actually do. PLEASE consult with an attorney about this.

              Our case was pretty cut and dried--"this is it; here is what you have; here is what you are able to use." Period. And our attorney didn't even know that Florida does NOT have a "Tools of the Trade" exemption. We were handed standard forms that are used nation-wide, so we dutifully filled in the "Tools of the Trade" section with all of the computer equipment that 'Hub uses in his *some-timey* computer consulting business. We ended up buying them back from the BK Estate.

              And no, you don't have to have a couple mil of equity in a house--you have to be in a home that you are purchasing--NOT RENTING--AND have filed for the Homestead Exemption for about three years, to be eligible. But that is for the Homestead Exemption for your property taxes. Homestead for your BK is a little different.
              "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

              "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

              Comment


              • #8
                http://www.thebankruptcysite.org/exe...s/florida.html

                $1,000 for car
                $1,000 for personal OR $4,000 if no homestead

                Some websites refer to the $4,000 as "wildcard", and some read like it's $1,000 and $4,000, so I'm not really sure. This is from Nolo.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the follow-up, Pjmax!
                  "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

                  "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks Pj.

                    As far as the the homested exemption goes, I was just trying to point out that Florida Bk exemptions cater more to the wealthy than the average person. Those with no equity or exempt retirement accounts are SOL. Until recently the only Personal Property exemption was the $1000. From what I've read, this figure has remained unchanged since the 1800s. In today's money it's about $75. Ridiculous!

                    There really should be no opt out option IMO. Everyone should have the option to take federal exemptions if it benefits them more. I can't imagine how larger families make due with FLs puny exemptions!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by aquabluesrq View Post
                      Thanks Pj.

                      As far as the the homested exemption goes, I was just trying to point out that Florida Bk exemptions cater more to the wealthy than the average person. Those with no equity or exempt retirement accounts are SOL. Until recently the only Personal Property exemption was the $1000. From what I've read, this figure has remained unchanged since the 1800s. In today's money it's about $75. Ridiculous!

                      There really should be no opt out option IMO. Everyone should have the option to take federal exemptions if it benefits them more. I can't imagine how larger families make due with FLs puny exemptions!

                      I agree 100%. Exemptions should be standard state to state- with the most generous state's applying, of course.
                      It just isn't right that a federal law can be interpreted so wildly differently from one mile to the next.
                      But I don't think we can do much about it. Just be as savvy as you can and work with it. One FL poster had her car taken to auction last year- turned out the tt way overvalued it and had to give it back... sometimes it's just stupid.

                      Keep On Smilin'

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by aquabluesrq View Post

                        both of which need pretty significant repairs. One needs new suspension and has been in a major accident that resulted in frame damage among other things. The other needs a $1500 timing chain replacement, 350 motormount, has a cracked front and faded/scratched paint on most of the car (sun & car wash damage)

                        Even with all the necessary repairs, they are worth more to us than buying something new.
                        Um, don't worry about them taking these cars which are obviously on their last legs.

                        The odds of them coming after these nearly worthless cars are very low.

                        You're going to have to replace them soon anyways.

                        In the meanwhile, keep driving them until you file bankruptcy in April.

                        I would be willing to bet that they will not make any real effort to come and get these cars from you in the next 4 months.

                        Do a Google search on the name of the debt collector plus the word "car" and see what comes up. If they normally take people's car in the course of their debt collection activities, some stories will come up about them.

                        Most debt collectors are only after wages to garnish, checking accounts to seize (and other liquid assets, etc.), and real estate to put a lien on. Everything else is too much work for very little reward.
                        The world's simplest C & D Letter:
                        "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me."
                        Notice that I never actually mention or acknowledge the debt in my letter.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by aquabluesrq View Post



                          My husband's car can't be worth much

                          Florida isn't a community property state, so I don't think creditors could do anything with his car, even if they wanted to, unless it is in both of your names.
                          The world's simplest C & D Letter:
                          "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me."
                          Notice that I never actually mention or acknowledge the debt in my letter.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks goingdown.

                            I am quite the worrier! I'm convinced that if it CAN happen it will happen to me.

                            Going to try to negotiate payments until we file. Just to get them off our backs for a few months. April can't come soon enough!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by aquabluesrq View Post
                              There really should be no opt out option IMO. Everyone should have the option to take federal exemptions if it benefits them more. I can't imagine how larger families make due with FLs puny exemptions!
                              I agree. The exemptions here in Arizona are just as bad, unless you're a homeowner and have equity to exempt. Here, you can exempt a whopping $300 in cash or bank account money. Yet in some states, you can exempt $2000 or more in liquid assets!

                              I suspect that the way most people deal with this problem is by simply stashing some extra cash and "forgetting" to list it on the petition. Otherwise, you'd have no way to eat and pay rent/utilities for the next month!

                              Comment

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