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Terry L.
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2815
Experience:  Better Business Bureau. 18yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar Assoc. American Bankruptcy Institute member.
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Me and my husband hired a bankruptcy attorney and have filed chapter 7. We have had the me

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Me and my husband hired a bankruptcy attorney and have filed chapter 7. We have had the meeting of creditors. Recently, however, we received a Notice of Need to File Proof of Claim Due to Recovery of Assets. Having no clue what this was, we contacted our attorney. They said that the Trustee had found assets in our vehicle. As part of the bankruptcy, the vehicle was reaffirmed and approved by the creditor and the court. The vehicle will be paid off in February 2012. The Trustee says there is $18k plus in assets. From the very beginning of this bankruptcy we have provided ALL information needed to our attorney and I do not understand how they could have 'missed' this. Surely they being in this specialty of law should have known this would have been looked at as an asset. We had no idea - that's why we hired them!! Shouldn't the attorney have known this and taken all this into account when putting this case together????
Hi, thanks for your question. You should hire a lawyer for specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created here.

Yes, the attorney should have recognized the vehicle as an asset if the information you gave was accurate - yr, make, model, mileage, and loan balance.

The attorney may be able to use a vehicle exemption, as well as a wildcard if available. Discuss the availability with your attorney.

If you were not informed that the vehicle had the possibility of liquidation, then you might have a claim against the lawyer. Discuss the matter with them first, then if you don't get a satisfactory answer, you can talk to another attorney about a malpractice claim.

As for the car - you may be able to refiance the loan to pay the trustee - and just have a car note again. This will prevent the liquidation.

Thanks for your question, good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Our attorney said that we may not have to liduidate the vehicle but may be able to get the Trustee to reduce the value he claims it is worth. We may have to take it to a mechanic to have it assessed to try to get the value reduced. Whatever the outcome we would probably just have to make payments to the court for whatever value it is determined to be worth.


I'm just upset because I feel there was negligence on our attorneys part and we shouldn't be in this situation with the vehicle at this point. Everything about the vehicle was disclosed from the very beginning. We have done our part. I just feel we may have been able to avoid this in some way had we been made aware of this situation happening.


What is a vehicle exemption and a wildcard??


Before I return to my attorney to discuss I would like to be as knowledgeable about all this as possible so I do not feel taken advantage of. We have not been extremely happy with this attorney but felt like we were already in the process and didn't know we could even possibly change in the midst of this case. these are the available bankruptcy exemptions used to protect your various assets. Look at schedule C of your petition to see which ones were used. Definitely get an appraisal to determine the true value of the car. You can then negotiate a repayment with the trustee to avoid liquidation if there is equity that the trustee can get. It is unfortunate that your attorney did not discuss the equity issue with you. You need to discuss the matter with the attorney, maybe they will assist.
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