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Ellen
Ellen, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
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My only income is Social Security disability. Although current

Resolved Question:

My only income is Social Security disability. Although current in all payments in my home, I have less than $15,000 in equity.

I have substantial unsecured credit card debt--$40,000+. However I do own my car ( debt free) and it is worth $14,000. I am considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Two questions:

1) Is there a strategy whereby I can keep my car or keep a car? and
2) How does the Trustee determine if I have less than $3,000 in personal items. Would the Trustee search my home? I probably have less than $5,000 in personal belongings.

Thanks for your response.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.
Hello,

I am the JustAnswer expert that will be helping you today. I am a lawyer with 25 years experience. Although I am not your attorney, I hope that I can give you helpful legal information.

Two questions: 1) Is there a strategy whereby I can keep my car or keep a car?
Missouri statute only permits a $3000 exemption in a motor vehicle. One way to preserve your vehicle is to obtain a loan against the title thereby reducing your equity to the exemption amount.
and 2) How does the Trustee determine if I have less than $3,000 in personal items. Would the Trustee search my home?

The trustee would not typically go to your home nor inventory your personal items.You are required to list your personal property at fair market value -- think garage sale value

I hope this helps
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