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Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 17252
Experience:  14 years exp., CH 7 AND 13 Bankruptcy cases, AFL-CIO UNION PLUS, UFT NYSID AND ALL MAJOR UNIONS
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Im contemplating on filing for chaper 7 bankruptcy and I figured

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I'm contemplating on filing for chaper 7 bankruptcy and I figured out that I qualify. My question is this. The only asset that I have that can be taken by the trustee is my truck. I owe $8000 from a loan company and the truck is worth $15,000.00. If the trustee takes the truck and sell it, will the $7000 extra proceeds go to my tax debt before my other unsecured credit card debts?
Please explain how the trustee works, thanks.


Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification.


What would happen is the excess money after a sale would first be subtracted from any motor vehicle exemption you may have, and the rest would go to pay your debts.



You should verify the current exemptions,

I believe it is $2750



California’s wild-card exemption allows you to protect, as of the date of this blog, equity of up to $23,250 in your personal property. This means that, theoretically, you could have $23,250 cash in your bank account and file bankruptcy and keep the cash. The analysis is a bit more complicated than that, and having such a large sum of cash in your bank account when you file bankruptcy could raise concerns of lack of good faith, but, theoretically, under the plain language of the bankruptcy law, you could do that.



The Code of Civil Procedure Section 703.140(b)(5), also known as the "wild card exemption" provides the following exemption protection: The debtor's aggregate interest in any property up to $1175.00 in value, plus any unused amount of the homestead exemption, which is $22,075.00.

In other words, the wild card exemption allows you to protect any property up to $23,250.00 ($1175.00 wildcard + $22075.00 homestead). The wild card exemption is especially useful if one or more of your other exemptions are insufficient to protect your property. You may also split your wild card exemption amount over multiple items and combine it with other exemptions as needed. This set of exemptions is generally used for people who dont own homes or do not have significant equity in their homes.



So you may be able to keep the entire amout as exempted property.


Let me clarify as of may 2012 the following exemptions are available for you.

California and federal bankruptcy law allow you to exempt property from
bankruptcy. You may choose between using either the California bankruptcy
exemptions or the exemptions found under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. There are
also two separate California exemption tracks that you must choose between.

They are:

703 exemptions / Wildcard exemptions

Debtors who do not own a home usually choose this track. Under this track,
you may exempt:

  • Up to $22,075 of equity interest in your home
  • Up to $23,250 of personal property (this is called the "wildcard" exemption)

  • Household goods that do not exceed $550 (per item)
  • Up to $3,525 of the value of one vehicle
  • Government benefits / public benefits
  • Up to $11,800 in aggregate interest of any unmatured life insurance policies

  • Up to $2,200 of "tools of the trade," including professional books and

704 exemptions / Homestead exemptions

This track is best for those who would like to keep their home during
bankruptcy. Under this track, you may exempt:

  • Up to $75,000 of equity in your home if you are a single person under 65 and
    up to $100,000 if you are a married couple
  • Up to $2,725 in vehicle equity
  • Up to $2,875 in household maintenance or repair
  • Up to $7,175 in art and heirlooms
  • Up to $7,175 in personal property used for a trade or business
  • Certain public benefits

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