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Keeping a classic car as exempt

Valued Member

Keeping a classic car as exempt

A friend with no income or home is in the process of filing a bankruptcy but they (did) own 1 crappy car worth under $6000 and one car they put their heart and sole in that books for $2000 but is worth more. One of the creditors wants that specific vehicle and he wants to keep it under the exemptions allowed.


I read the FAQ and checked Exemptions for NY state and it lists that you can keep one automobile worth under $4,000 but it doesn't say if you have a right to choose which to exempt. 


The FAQ says you can keep one car over the other by choosing which loan to pay back but I'm trying to find what the rule is if both vehicles worth under $4000 are paid for and a creditor wants the one you want to keep.


He has a really bad general practive lawyer who isn't that familiar with the process and isn't really looking out for him so I am trying to find some answers for him.


Edit: Neither vehicle are currently in his name as of ~3 months ago, but he was told they will go back a year on any transactions he has made and take back the vehicles from the current owners. He was just going to wait till next year and file but someone (cop) showed up to collect one of the vehicles but he showed the officer proof he no longer owns the vehicle but the officer said he has to file bankruptcy now or else.


Message 1 of 5
Frequent Contributor

Re: Keeping a classic car as exempt

Or else what?


How was this officer taking the vehicle, a repo from a lender that had a lien on it? If so, how did it clear the title to sell it? What type of paperwork did he have? Was he really a cop or an "officer" from some repo company?


Otherwise, what assets does your friend have that would be exposed?


If he has nothing they can take, it probably doesn't matter what this officer threatens,

Message 2 of 5
Valued Contributor

Re: Keeping a classic car as exempt

The exemption belkongs to the debtor.  The creditor might challenge the designation of the classic car claiming it's worth more than the exemption but the debtor designates the exemption.

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Message 3 of 5
Frequent Contributor

Re: Keeping a classic car as exempt

You are saying a "policeman" told your friend to file BK or else? Sounds screwy. He may want to put the cars in storage or at a friend's house till this all blows over.

Message 4 of 5
Regular Contributor

Re: Keeping a classic car as exempt

The classic car sounds like it didnt have a loan on it and he sold it to shield assets. If the creditor has a lien on the classic car then they can decide they want full loan value or the car.

The cop might have been with a recovery team to if the city requires notification for repossessions in their jurisdiction.

If the car doesnt run for some reason (no engine) then the value is hard to calculate.

If the car was sold, they wont get the car back usually they want the money.

Message 5 of 5