How to value your car in bankruptcy

In most occasions, you can both keep your car and file for bankruptcy. The ultimate decision, however, absolutely depends on you. But, do you really? However, when I talk about your car, I really mean it. I believe it is the one you own or for which you are making monthly payments, Are you leasing a car? Well, this might be a great time to land on your own transport.

Deciding whether or not you can keep your car while filing for bankruptcy is just like determining if you can keep your house. Now it is the value of the car that is the deciding factor. Well, you might be thinking how to do so without any professional help. One of the best methods to do it is by getting help of the online version of Kelley Blue Book.

The law requires you to convey the replacement value of your vehicle. This is the prospective price you need to pay when purchasing a similar vehicle from a person like you. Well, in order to do this effectively, Kelley Blue Book has three value thresholds:

  1. Trade in value
  2. Private party value
  3. Retail value

Private party value is the figure you need to fulfil your purposes. This is the amount you can expect to get if you sale the vehicle or pay if you buy a similar kind and from an identical seller like you. And the sale will be just like how folks do in craigslist - visiting the seller’s house, purchasing the item on the spot without any warranty, which strictly a no-recourse policy.

Value your car:

  1. Navigate to
  2. Search in the ‘used cars’ section
  3. Enter the key criteria; eg., year, make and model
  4. Enter the zip code of your residence
  5. Select your model
  6. Select your trim level
  7. Choose ‘private party value’
  8. Enter mileage and other related fields
  9. Select the condition level
  10. Know the value of your car

Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees prefer the NADA website ( to value your car. This is a website for car dealers and often yields higher numbers than the actual market value. Rendering higher figures is good for them in case a liquidation scenario arises in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. If the bankruptcy trustee sells your car in auction during the liquidation, it won’t yield anything predicted in the private party value. You can find auction values of cars in the Black Book ( Those values are around 30% of the trade in value.

  • expertise badge
  • TrustLink logoTrustLink logo
  • Customer ratings on BBB
  • IAPDA logo
  • Calchamber Member
  • Calbar Registered
  • D&B
  • Trustpilot
  • yelp logo