Bosworth, No. 10-41615-JDP (Bankr. D. Idaho, March 14, 2011)
When you file for bankruptcy, you have to list all your property in paperwork submitted to the bankruptcy court. Then, you may be able to claim that some of your possessions are exempt, or will not be used to pay creditors, under state or federal law. Every state has exemptions for certain automobiles, because it is commonly believed that most people need a car in order to work and get around. Sometimes, whether your vehicle will be exempt will depend on how the exemption is interpreted.
In this case, a man tried to use the vehicle exemption in Idaho to exclude his All-Terrain Vehicle (“ATV”) from being used to pay his creditors. He claimed it was a motor vehicle because it had a motor, was used for transportation, and could be driven on the roads.
The court disagreed, because ATVs were clearly treated differently than other motor vehicles under Idaho law. They had to have special license plates, and were only allowed on country roads. Because of these differences, the court decided that ATVs were not what the state meant when it exempted motor vehicles.
To read the case summary for In re: Bosworth see here.
To determine which of your property is and is not exempt under bankruptcy law, consult with a Tucson bankruptcy attorney.
Stephen M. Trezza