How to File Bankruptcy in Philadelphia and Keep Your House + Car

Times of financial distress don’t have to result in the loss of your car and home. With the support of an effective bankruptcy lawyer, you can find solace in the knowledge that you can protect your property in Philadelphia by filing a petition for bankruptcy protection.
Young, Marr & Associates will work proactively with you to determine the ways bankruptcy can help you keep your home and car while obtaining appropriate debt relief. They are available to file emergency bankruptcy petitions, even on the same day if necessary. Call us at (215) 607-7478 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Protect Your Car and Home in Philadelphia From Creditors

Every bankruptcy is different in that each is tailored to your specific income and debt status. Many people incur debt when purchasing property, including significant amounts from buying a home or vehicle. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code is designed to protect the rights of debtors by keeping important assets, such as their homes and cars, intact while eliminating or discharging burdensome, high-interest debts typically associated with unsecured assets such as credit cards.
The exemptions included in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code provides debtors with an amount or value to subtract from the outstanding debt to protect certain properties from the sales needed to pay creditors. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will typically learn more about your obligation to run an exemptions analysis that will give a realistic picture of whether bankruptcy protection can help you protect your home and car. The estimated calculation of your exemptions will depend on the value of your property, as well as on the “equity” of your property, a legal concept that refers to the difference between the fair market value and the amount owed.
Pennsylvania gives debtors the ability to choose between state and federal bankruptcy exemptions. As of April 1, 2019, federal exemption amounts increased and are now considered more liberal than the exemptions that came before. However, there are multiple factors a qualified attorney can analyze based on your circumstances to decide which exemption will fit best in your financial situation. With the help of your attorney’s expertise, you can make sound and informed decisions.

Types of Bankruptcy Petitions: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

The type of bankruptcy you file will also have an impact on your ability to keep your home and car in Philadelphia. While Chapter 7 offers certain advantages your attorney can explain, Chapter 13 gives debtors the opportunity to adjust their finances without having to liquidate or sell their assets.

Chapter 7

Filing for Chapter 7 does not take a long time, but you should expect your property to be sold or “liquidated” to pay certain creditors. Since Pennsylvania doesn’t have what is known as a “homestead” exemption, you home can be sold to pay creditors if you are even a little behind on your payments. However, if you are current on your mortgage and car payments, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing doesn’t have to result in you losing your home or car. Since every bankruptcy is tailored to the debtor’s financial circumstances, your choice of bankruptcy type can depend on many other factors.

Chapter 13

In Chapter 13 bankruptcies, you can catch up on your mortgage and other payments through what is known as the Chapter 13 Payment Plan. Chapter 13 bankruptcies usually involve the payment of adjusted debts based on future income. While the debtor can sell some assets to make payments, there is no obligation to “liquidate” assets as long as the court approves the scheduled payments. Chapter 13 debtors are generally able to keep and use all property (including primary residences and vacation homes) and pay all debtors according to the agreed-upon plan.

Federal Car Exemptions

Exemptions can become complicated because they involve some serious math. These complications typically arise when determining the market value of property. However, in the case of cars, the calculation can be easy because the value is based information in a comprehensive publication known as the Kelley Blue Book. Based on the value listed in the book, you may be allowed to subtract the following exemptions:

Motor Vehicle Exemption

Section 522(d)(2) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code gives debtors a $4,000 exemption on one of your cars. For example, if your car’s Blue Book value is $6,000, this exemption can reduce your debt to $2,000.

 “Wild Card” Exemption

In addition to the motor vehicle exemption, there is a miscellaneous exemption – known as a wild card exemption – of $1,325 frequently applied to cars. Based on the example above, between the motor vehicle exemption and the wild card exemption there will only be a remainder of $675 needed to satisfy your car debt. Depending on your circumstances, other exemptions can be applied to fulfill the remainder car debt.

Federal Home Exemptions

Pursuant to Section 522(d)(1) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, you may be entitled to a Federal Homestead Exemption, which can be used to protect your home in Pennsylvania. As of April 1, 2019, debtors are typically allowed to exempt $25,150. If you are married and filing jointly, then the exemption can be doubled to $50,300.
The homestead can only apply to your principal residence. However, you are not required to occupy the primary house. Keep in mind that this exemption does not apply if you reside in a rented home.

Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorneys Skilled in Keeping Home + Car

Philadelphia residents worried about losing their home or car should not wait to talk to the team of Young, Marr & Associates. Don’t wait for collection actions to reach a point of no return in the foreclosure or repossession process. Our fees are worked out within your budget. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at (215) 607-7478.

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12 Convenient Locations Across Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Philadelphia, PA

7909 Bustletown Ave, 1st Floor Philadelphia, PA 19152 (215) 607-7478 Get Directions

Quakertown, PA

328 Broad St. Quakertown, PA 18951 (215) 515-6876 Get Directions

Allentown, PA

137 N 5th St. Suite A Allentown, PA 18102 (215) 240-4082 Get Directions

Jenkintown, PA

135 Old York Road Jenkintown, PA 19046 (215) 544-3347 Get Directions

Easton, PA

101 Larry Holmes Dr. #212 Easton, PA 18042 (215) 515-7077 Get Directions

Bala Cynwyd, PA

2 Bala Plaza, Suite 300 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 557-3209 Get Directions

Bensalem, PA

3554 Hulmeville Rd, #102 Bensalem, PA 19020 (215) 515-6389 Get Directions

Plymouth Meeting, PA

600 W. Germantown Pike #400 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 (215) 515-6876 Get Directions

Harrisburg, PA

2225 Sycamore St Harrisburg, PA 17111 (717) 864-8887 Get Directions

Cinnaminson, NJ

909 Route 130 South #202 Cinnaminson, NJ 08077 (609) 796-4344 Get Directions

Hamilton Twp., NJ

100 Horizon Center Blvd., 1st and 2nd Floors Hamilton Township, NJ 08691 (609) 236-8649 Get Directions

Marlton, NJ

10000 Lincoln Drive E One Greentree Centre, Suite 201 Marlton, NJ 08053 (856) 213-2805 Get Directions

Piscataway, NJ

200 Centennial Ave. Suite 200 Piscataway, NJ 08854 (908) 367-7256 Get Directions