The following story is a fictionalized version of a real event reflecting laws that may not apply to your jurisdiction. This article is produced for entertainment purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Readers are advised to seek legal advice relevant to their circumstances, the jurisdiction in which their matter pertains to and the laws in place therein.
Stephen pulled up to the charity organization in his van. He maneuvered himself into his wheelchair.
Celia ran over with a big smile. “Welcome to Community Caring!”
“Oh, you must be new.” Stephen smiled.
“Yeah. Let me introduce you to our programs for the handicapped.”
The head of Community Caring came running. “Actually, Celia, Stephen is the one helping US! He’s our best volunteer.”
Stephen grabbed some boxes from the van. “Glad to help, Barry. I collected 70 bags of food this week for the foodbank.”
“70 bags!” Celia was shocked.
“A little below average,” Stephen admitted. “But my van was in the shop this week.”
Barry smiled. “And how are you doing? Everything well?”
Stephen’s eyes dimmed. “Oh, not too bad. I have what I need. I’m healthy, and independent, thanks to my super customized van.”
“And how’s business…?”
“Plenty of people are worse off.”
Barry thought to himself. “I just know he’s in trouble.”
Back at home, Stephen sat in silence. Unpaid bills were strewn everywhere. Messages from creditors filled the answering machine. “How will I get through this? Sales have been down for months.”
There was a knock on the door. “It’s Barry. Time for me to help you for a change.”
Stephen sighed in relief. “Thank you!”
Barry sorted through the finances. “Unfortunately, I think your only option is bankruptcy.”
Stephen nodded sadly. “I figured as much. I just couldn’t make the business work.”
“I’m sorry, Stephen. But once the dust settles, we’ll start brainstorming about all the exciting things you can do with your talent!”
Creditors came to collect the office equipment and furniture.
“Well, who needs that old desk anyway?” Stephen stayed positive.
“Hey!” he suddenly noticed something out the window. “What’s going on out there?”
The repo guy was about to tow away his van.
Stephen wheeled himself outside. “That’s my special van!”
“You’re behind on your payments,” the repo guy said.
Stephen watched in horror as his van was towed away.
Barry assured him. “We’ll get it back. We’ll fight this in court.”
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IN THE COURTROOM
“Please, Your Honour,” Stephen pleaded. “I’m helpless without my van. I can’t get out, I can’t do my volunteer work, I can’t get a job. Please let me keep my van.”
Vinnie’s Vans shrugged. “Sorry, but he’ll have to manage. He should have thought of that before he let his finances fall into such a bad state.”
Can Stephen keep his van? You! Be the Judge! Then look below for the decision.
“I’m so sorry,” the Judge said. “The bankruptcy laws don’t allow exemptions to handicapped people even if they need their stuff to make a living or enjoy freedom. Sadly, your van will be sold.”