Filing for bankruptcy does not always mean parting ways with everything you’ve ever owned, contrary to what you might have heard or read. In some cases, this might be true, though, for example in most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases where you might find yourself forced to sell your assets to cover the primary as well as secured debts.
But in some cases, some assets are hard to part with – like your car. If you are late on your repayments and have had your car repossessed, there might still be a way to get it back, especially if you engage the services of a reliable San Diego bankruptcy attorney.
Getting Your Repossessed Car Back Through Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
What makes Chapter 13 different compared to Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you are allowed to deal with your debt through a payment plan which allows you to repay your debts according to your income. While this might take longer, you will be allowed to keep some of your assets as well as receive additional benefits like reduced interest rates on the repayment plan. This repayment plan could also help you get your vehicle back, even if it had previously been repossessed.
Here’s how the process works:
Your repossessed car is sold so the lender can get some of the money owned back. On the other hand, the lender has to wait for a certain period of time before being able to sell your vehicle. If you file for Chapter 13 during this period, you will put all the debts on automatic stay. This will keep the lender from selling your vehicle without a special permission from the court. During this time you should devise a repayment plan you can present to the bankruptcy court.
While the lender will surely ask for permission to sell your vehicle, the court may side with you in several cases. The first is showing proof that you need the car. A good example would be that you need the car as it is your only means of transportation to your job. This way you may be allowed to keep your vehicle, as going to work is essential if you are to fulfill your Chapter 13 repayment plan. Another case that may sway the court in your favor is if you can prove to the court that you can meet your car payments as well as your bankruptcy repayment plan.
Be aware that getting your car back from repossession might have some consequences, such as fees associated with this and paying what you previously own. Likewise, you might be required to pay to protect the lender from losing money due to the deprecation of your car’s value. Such payments will be determined by your bankruptcy trustee before the repayment plan had been put into effect.
Additionally, if the lender feels that your payment plan will not cover their needs, they might refuse to return your vehicle. So in order to get your car back, you have to devise a plan your lender will be comfortable with.
Want Your Car Back? Seek Help from an Experienced San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney
If you want to claim your repossessed car back, acting quickly is key. We advise you to seek help from a trustworthy bankruptcy attorney in San Diego as soon as your vehicle is repossessed and talk through your options. This way an attorney can help you devise a payment plan good enough to convince the bankruptcy court and the lender to transfer the possession of the vehicle back to you. If you don’t, your car might get sold and you will lose it forever. Moving? you may want to consider this service.
The trustworthy team at Chang & Diamond, APC can help you with keeping your car and getting your life back on track. For a free initial consultation contact our offices through our online form or at (619) 312 – 4900 or (800) 718 – 8118.