If I have creditors/collection agencies after me, can they take a new car away from me ifI buy one?

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If I have creditors/collection agencies after me, can they take a new car away from me ifI buy one?

I owe different credit card compamies and banks money. I’d say around $25,000 total in debt. They all have sent me to collections and a couple have sent me notices to sue and also take away my assets. What do they mean by “assets”? I wanted to buy a new car roughly around $13,000 but is that considered an asset that they can take away once I pay it off? If so please let me know so that I won’t spend money on a new car that theycan take away from me. However, I badly need a car. What do I do?

Asked on October 12, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

An "asset" is defined as property of anykind: real, personal, tangible and intangible.  A car would most definitely be an asset and would be subject to seizure by a creditor.  Here is how it will work:  the creditor will start an action against you.  If you do not answer then they will obtain a judgement against you.  Once they obtain a judgement they will execute on the judgement.  They can ask for assistance by the Sheriff or Marshall to "levy" on assets, meaning that they will take the assets and sell them to pay off the debt.  I would suggest that you take the money and try and negotiate a deal with the creditors about paying back the funds so that you can start fresh.  Maybe make monthly payments that you can handle at this point.  Try debt counseling as well. Good luck.


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