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Value Automobile Ohio

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  • Value Automobile Ohio

    I'll try to make this short. Received my first summons from which I assume is the original creditor certified mail on Monday (I have 28 days to answer), I am $47,000 in debt - all credit cards. I planed on filing Chapter 7, just for some reason I thought I would not get sued for a few years. Mainly because my friend who went through Chapter 7 told me she wasn't sued for 3.5 years (she had over $150000 of debt.) AIso, she was sued by the creditor with the lowest amount owed - mine happened to be the highest. Oh, well, you live you learn, just came as a sock that it happened so quick(I know now it shouldn't have). Just had the wrong preconceived idea on my head - stupid. So, I'm thinking 3 years in my head and my car would be worth less.

    The only asset I have is my car, currently unemployed. The car is paid off, I understand that in Ohio you get $3,675 plus an additional $1,225 wildcard exemption for a total of $4900. I'm actually unsure of exactly how to value my car, but I did get some info from legal aid. They use the KBB sell to private owner price which is $8550 and I got $9462 on nada. I heard that they sell the car at auction or trade-in prices which I looked up on blackbook at $6680. I really want to keep the car bad, but I realize that may not be possible. Does anyone have any experience with this? When they get judgement against me, how soon would they take the car or would they even take it? I'm assuming this may differ based on the creditor? If I file chapter 7 soon, does this change? What I'm trying to say is, do the circumstances or procedures of the creditor change with judgement and chapter 7 in terms of the automobile? Now that I think of it, it would be the trustee with the chapter 7. Alright, I think I need to chill out

    Thanks for listening

  • #2
    If you are unemployed, with no currently-pending job offers, then I suggest not filing for bankruptcy at this time. The first thing I would do is determine if state law allows a creditor to place a judicial lien on a vehicle, and if in practice that is actually done in your jurisdiction. If the answer to both of these questions is "no" then I would do nothing at this time, since you are currently collections-proof. When your circumstances improve, then you could file.

    If, however it is permitted and common for judgment creditors to place a lien on a debtor's vehicle and to attempt to seize the vehicle to enforce its lien, then I suggest filing an answer to the lawsuit to buy some time, and selling the car ASAP to preempt the creditor. If you file an answer to the lawsuit, that will buy you another month during which you can post the car for sale on Craigslist or newspaper classified, and sell it for the highest cash offer you receive. Even if you can only get $5000 for your car, that's a lot better than having a repo man show up in the middle of the night and being out everything. You can then use a portion of the money to buy a different vehicle which is well below the state exemption amount, and keep the rest of the cash in your home--NOT in a bank account, so that the creditor won't be able to touch it once they get a judgment.

    As long as you don't file for bankruptcy protection, there is nothing wrong with hiding assets from creditors, and people do it all the time. Once you do file for bankruptcy, then you must disclose all assets including money hidden in your home. So if it becomes necessary to file in the future, then just wait until you have spent the funds on living expenses and/or exempt items.


    • #3
      bcohen, thanks very much for the reply

      I met with 2 local bk attorneys today, have 2 more consultations tomorrow and 2 attorneys are calling me on Tuesday from legal aid (1 to answer the summons and 1 for the chapter 7). I asked the 1st attorney if they would place a lien on my car after they receive judgment and he told me with 100% certainty that they would not due to a $500 court fee, appraisal fee, storage fee, ...etc. They would just garnish wages and I am currently unemployed. He told me I was basically judgment proof and I said I really didn't need to answer the summons. He said there was no hurry for chapter 7 and if I wanted to keep my car, I could pay the trustee $2500 over 12 months. Also, that amount would depend on the trustee. So, in conclusion no hurry to file chapter 7 and don't bother answering the summons.

      The 2nd attorney said if I pay him $175 he would answer the summons for me and possible prolong the judgment up to 9 months. I forgot to ask him if that fee was per creditor, because I'm assuming other ones will sue??? So, is the advantage of prolonging the judgment to get back on my feet or am I missing something? I was telling my friend about it and he can't understand why I would prolong it or why an attorney would tell me that?? I really didn't know how to answer her, she said just file the Chapter 7 and get it over with! I DO plan on filing Chapter 7, I guess paying around $2500 to keep my car isn't that bad. 2nd attorney did kinda say the same thing about them trying to take the car, but did say there is a slight possibility of them taking it, but I would have to file chapter 7 real quick before they auction the car. He also stated there was no hurry to file chapter 7. Would they try to go for the car since they can't garnish my wages? Just trying to take in a whole bunch of information, that's how my mind works.


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