Can I get my car back after repossession if I file bankruptcy?
Even if a car has been repossessed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will force the lender to return the car if it is done quickly and appropriately. If you want to meet with us to discuss the details please contact us now as time is of the essence. Consultations are free and confidential. The vast majority (95% or more) of the Chapter 13 cases in this office are filed with no money upfront. If you need more information please read below.
Repossession can happen when you fall behind on your car payments. It does not matter if it is the original loan used to purchase the car or a refinancing loan, or a title loan. As a borrower, you probably signed a credit contract or purchase agreement where you agreed in advance to terms and conditions under which the vehicle could be repossessed. Banks or other financial institutions do not need a court order to recover a vehicle from you if you have missed your car payments. If the loan is secured by the car and you fall behind on the payments the lender can repossess the vehicle.
If your vehicle was repossessed, you might be able to get your vehicle back but you must act quickly. The lender will generally send you a letter a few days after repossession advising you on the date of the auction for your vehicle and your right to redeem the vehicle or reinstate the loan. To get the car back outside of bankruptcy you must catch up on all or some of your missed car payments within a certain amount of days and sometimes even pay extra repossession fees to get the car back. On some occasions the entire balance must be paid in full before the vehicle is released. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy on the other hand you can get the car back without any money in hand as long as you meet the requirements for the bankruptcy.
Repossession can be stopped if you file an appropriate Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You must file before the vehicle has been sold at an auction if you want to get your car back. You are then able to pay off the loan through your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy payment plan. This means you can force the return of the vehicle without coming up with money up front. In some cases, you might not have to pay the entire balance of the loan to keep the vehicle. Even if you do not want to save your vehicle, bankruptcy might be the best option. After repossession vehicles are sold at auctions for lowball prices. You are then responsible for the “deficiency” – the difference between the contractual amount due and the price paid at the auction for the car. Depending on your situation, that deficiency can be several thousand dollars. You are responsible for paying that amount even though you no longer have the vehicle. Your rights and obligations when it comes to repossessions and deficiencies can be confusing, contact us immediately to explore all your options.