Can I keep my house and car and still file bankruptcy? Most people who file bankruptcy do get to keep their house and their car states Braceville bankruptcy attorney. The reason for this is the State of Illinois and many States provide for exemptions in property. Exemptions in property is a specific dollar amount that you can keep free and clear from any kind of creditor attachment and/or trustee attachment when filing a bankruptcy.
In the State of Illinois and individual bankruptcy filer can protect up to $15,000.00 worth of equity in a piece of real estate. In the case of a joint filing, husband and wife, the couple can protect up to $30,000.00 worth of equity in a piece of real estate. In reality the couple can even have more than $30,000.00 equity because the trustee has to factor in what it’s going to take to sell that property and pay off the exemption to the debtors to see whatever would be left to pay to creditors a certain portion over time.
What I mean by this is the trustee is going to look at the cost of sale or administration of that asset. A trustee has to look at what a realtor will cost, what the closing costs and title expenses will be and what the attorney’s fees will be for a real estate transaction. Unless there is significant equity above and beyond the exemption amount then a trustee is not going to be interested in administering that asset when you claim bankruptcy.
With regard to vehicles, the State of Illinois protects up to $2,400.00 of equity in one motor vehicle. In a joint case, husband and wife, the couples can protect up to $4,800.00 worth of equity in a single vehicle. In the State of Illinois we also have what’s called a ‘wildcard exemption.’ A wildcard exemption is a $4,000.00 per person exemption that could be sprinkled over and protected with any kind of personal property. So in the case of an auto, if it’s a joint case, you’ve got $4,800.00 worth of auto exemption and you technically have up and to $8,000.00 worth of miscellaneous wild card exemption that you can sprinkle over a car. Thus, most people who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy are doing so because they do not have significant equity in the house or the car.