Can I Purchase a Vehicle in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

The short answer is yes.  However, there is a bit of a process behind purchasing a vehicle in a Chapter 13.  First, your budget needs to be reviewed.  This requires your bankruptcy attorney to review your income and your expenses to make sure you can afford to have an extra payment in your budget.  Once it has been established that you are able to make a new car payment, a request to purchase a car must be made to the Bankruptcy Court.  This is done through a process called a Motion to Incur Debt.

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After your bankruptcy lawyer files the Motion to Incur Debt the bankruptcy judge will evaluate your situation to make sure that you can make the monthly payments without any problems. If there are problems, they will deny your ability to get financing for the vehicle. It is the judge’s job to make sure that you do not incur new debt and end up in the same situation that caused you to file bankruptcy in the first place.

What if you plan to buy a car without financing?  You will still need to obtain permission; additionally, you will need to explain where the lump sum of money came from.  It is always best to discuss this possibility with your attorney first to remove any possible issues that may arise from the access of extra money.

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