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Benefit from the Experience of Attorneys Bill and Valerie Sherman Former Assistant Attorney General, Assistant County Attorneys and Magistrate Judge

Can I Keep My BMW If I File for Bankruptcy in Georgia?

Question: My real estate investments went down in value, I'm getting my pay garnished at work because I forgot to make some credit card payments and I got divorced recently and now I have child support payments. I am what you might call a "car guy" and I really want to keep my BMW. I got it for a good price and it's fun to drive. Can I keep my BMW if I file bankruptcy in Georgia?

Answer: We have many clients who truly enjoy "The Ultimate Driving Machine," as BMW has dubbed itself. And we can certainly understand the allure of BMW. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (now commonly just called BMW) has a long history of high-quality manufacturing. Started as an aviation company in Bavaria, Germany, BMW is now known worldwide for its automobiles. In fact, this prestigious German car company regularly garners impressive reviews in the automotive press—from magazines like "Road & Track," "Car and Driver" and in Edmunds and The Kelley Blue Book.

You didn't mention the year of your BMW, its condition, how much you paid for it, etc. BMW boasts various series, including the 1 series, 3 series, 5 series, 6 series, 7 series and the Z4 and the high-performance M. All start at different price points and many models are available with different types of engines, including diesel and hybrids. Georgia residents do love their BMW's!

Most people who file bankruptcy—either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13—do keep their cars. And that is just as true for BMW owners as it is for other vehicles like General Motors products, Ford, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, Jaguar, Honda, Audi, etc. A car usually only becomes an issue when it has substantial equity and most cars do not. As the saying goes, once you drive off the car lot, it's substantially depreciated.

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