Your Car Is Repossessed: How Do You Protect Your $1.000 Exemption?

A man called me the other day with a question about his car which had been  seized by his creditor. The sheriff towed the car. The creditor told this man that the car would be sold at an auction. The man had learned that Florida law exempts $1,000 of car equity. He asked me if I knew how he could claim his exempt $1,000 from the car auction proceeds. I did not know the answer. My experience with car exemption is through Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, and I am not familiar with auction and exemption claims outside of bankruptcy court.

I posed this question to Larry Kosto, Esq., of Kosto and Rolella, P.A., a prominent collection and bankruptcy law firm. Mr. Kosto has repossessed many cars during his legal career. He explained that the procedures for car levy and sales is set forth in Florida Statute 222.061. The Statute provides, in part, that after a court issues a judgment and writ of execution the debtor can file with the court an inventory of exempt personal property. A debtor’s inventory would include the claim of a $1,000 car exemption. If the creditor objects to the filed exemption the court will hold a hearing. The prevailing party may get attorneys fees. It’s a complicated procedure. I usually recommend that people defending a judgment collection retain an experienced collection attorney, such as Mr. Kosto, to assert their exemptions in court.

About the Author

Jon Alper is an expert in asset protection planning for individuals and small businesses.

Jon Alper

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