Do you want to know how to value your car for a bankruptcy? If you’re filing for bankruptcy and you own a car, you’ll need to determine the value of your vehicle. This is because the value of your car is used to determine whether or not you can keep it, and if so, how much you’ll need to pay your creditors. Here’s how to get a value for your car for a bankruptcy case:
- Determine the Type of Bankruptcy You’re Filing For
There are two types of bankruptcy that individuals typically file for: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The type of bankruptcy you’re filing for will impact how your car is valued.
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be required to sell your car to pay off your creditors if there is too much equity in the car once you subtract what you owe, and your bankruptcy exemption. To determine the value of your car, you’ll need to know the fair market value of your vehicle. This is the amount that your car would sell for in its current condition. The vehicle exemption for Illinois bankruptcy cases is just $2400 as of the date of this article, so keep that in mind too.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to keep your car by making payments to your creditors. In this case, the value of your car is used to determine how much you’ll need to pay. The value of your car is the replacement value, which is the amount it would cost to replace your car with a similar vehicle.
- Use Online Tools to Get a Value for Your Car
There are many online tools that can help you determine the value of your car. Some popular options include Kelley Blue Book, NADA, and Edmunds. These tools allow you to enter information about your car, such as the make, model, year, and condition, and they will give you an estimate of its value. Ask your attorney which service is the recommended source. In the Northern District of Illinois, Nada Guides is the preferred valuation source.
When using these tools, it’s important to be as accurate as possible with the information you provide. This will ensure that you get an accurate estimate of your car’s value.
- Get a Professional Appraisal
If you’re not satisfied with the estimate you get from an online tool, or if you have a unique or rare car, you may want to consider getting a professional appraisal. A professional appraiser can give you a more accurate estimate of your car’s value, taking into account factors such as the condition of the vehicle, any modifications or upgrades, and the current market for similar vehicles. I usually refer my clients to CarMax, which has a free appraisal/valuation service.
- Provide Documentation
Once you have a value for your car, it’s important to provide documentation to support that value. This could include receipts for any recent repairs or upgrades, photos of the vehicle, and any other documentation that can help support the value you’re claiming. Bring the written report your appraiser provides.
Determining the value of your car for a bankruptcy case is an important step in the process. By using online tools, getting a professional appraisal, and providing documentation to support your claim, you can ensure that you get an accurate value for your vehicle. This will help you make informed decisions about whether to keep your car or sell it to pay off your creditors. Get a free bankruptcy attorney consultation to help you with a bankruptcy case. Your attorney can help you with the valuation and point you to the best bankruptcy chapter to file to protect your vehicle.