Golf Cart Ruling Exposes Bankruptcy Exemption Law Issue

Brian Shaw and Christina Sanfelippo discuss the In re: Smith decision in a Law360 article and what it means for bankruptcy practitioners.

The debtor in In re: Smith listed his golf cart as an exempt motor vehicle when he filed for bankruptcy protection and on his Schedule C Property Claimed as Exempt form. At an evidentiary hearing on the trustee's objection, the debtor testified that his golf cart was “powered by a gas engine, his only means of reliable transportation for tasks such as shopping and running other errands, not registered with the state Department of Motor Vehicles, and Driven on sidewalks, not public roadways.” In July, Judge Janice D. Loyd ruled that a golf cart may be an exempt motor vehicle under Oklahoma state law.

In this article, Brian and Christina point out the lessons learned from the In re: Smith case and how crucial it is to “update out-of-date state and federal exemption statutes as debtors increasingly rely on untraditional motor vehicles such as food trucks, all-terrain vehicles, and motorized bicycles.”

To read the full article, click here

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Christina Sanfelippo


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Brian Shaw


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