Hello and thank you for allowing me to address your legal question.
The answer depends on a few factors. Is the vehicle being financed or do you own it outright? If the vehicle is being financed, how much equity do you have? If you own the vehicle outright, what is it worth?
In California, you can protect a vehicle, or its equity, up to $2300. Therefore, if your vehicle is worth $2300 or less and you own it outright, then you will not have to surrender it. If the vehicle is worth more than $2300 and you own it outright, then the vehicle will be sold and the bankruptcy trustee will take the proceeds, less $2300 which you will get back. If you are financing the vehicle and you have more than $2300 in equity, then the vehicle will be sold and the bankruptcy trustee will take the proceeds, less $2300 which you will get back. If you are financing the vehicle and it has less than $2300 in equity, then you will not need to surrender it.
There is a caveat to the last two circumstances above, however. If you are financing the vehicle you must keep paying on your loan or the lender will repo it just like it would prior to filing for bankruptcy (the bankruptcy simply makes the lender jump through more hoops).
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