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Vehicle Repossession in Bankruptcy

Vehicle Repossession, Bankruptcy
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Vehicle Repossession

Vehicles can be repossessed even when you are in bankruptcy.   In bankruptcy, you are required to make your vehicle payments.  That is, if you want to retain possession of your vehicle.   If you do not make your vehicle payments, lenders can take your vehicle and sell it.

If vehicle payments are not current, the lender files for relief from stay.  If granted, your lender has the right of possession of your vehicle.  You are no longer the owner and neither is the bankruptcy estate.

However, your lender has no ability to demand that they return the vehicle to them.    You do not have to cooperate to bring your car to a location of their choice.    It is up to the lender to locate your car and then have it towed.

Make sure you make your vehicle payments.   Otherwise, you may look out the window and see your vehicle being towed away.  Once they hookup that car, you have no rights to stop the towing company.    The relief from stay is all the lender needs in order to take the vehicle.

You may have your vehicle parked somewhere.   If you come out and your vehicle is gone, it may have been towed away.

Vehicle Repossession – Case Example

Situation:

  • Debtor filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
  • Lender got relief from the stay and an order to allow them to repossess the car from Debtor.
  • Lender filed a 2-page motion asking the Court to approve their motion to have the Debtor physically return the car to the Lender.

Outcome:

  • Court denied the motion.
  • The Bankruptcy Court stated there is nothing in the bankruptcy code that requires a debtor to surrender collateral to a creditor.
  • When the Lender receives stay relief and rights to regain the car, the car is no longer property of the estate (bankruptcy).
  • Lender can take whatever action as to such property as is permitted by applicable non-bankruptcy law.

In summary, the lender has to go out and get the vehicle.  The debtor is not required to bring the car to the lender

No debtor had their vehicles repossessed unless they no longer wanted their vehicles.   I work closely with my clients, so I know their goals.

If you need expert advice related to the repossession of your vehicle whether or not you are in bankruptcy, Call me Now for a Free Bankruptcy Consult.

If your vehicle has been repossessed, I can help you get it back…….