If I file bankruptcy now can they still take my car? 19 Answers as of February 29, 2012

I am currently behind on many bills and am now hiding my car from repossession. If I file bankruptcy now can they still take my car?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
You have the option of reaffirming it. Contact a local attorney for specifics.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/29/2012
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Yes, once they get relief from the automatic stay. Consider a Ch13 bankruptcy to get caught up on the car payments.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/29/2012
Law Office of Nanina Takla
Law Office of Nanina Takla | Nanina Takla
The short answer is very probably if you file a chapter 7 and maybe if you file a chapter 13. In order to repossess, he creditor will have to request "relief from the stay" meaning it has to ask permission from the court to go ahead and repossess the car even though you've filed bankruptcy. If you've filed a chapter 7 and you're behind in your payments, then the court will almost certainly grant permission. The creditor could also just wait until you get your chapter 7 discharge and then repossess the car the discharge just gets rid of the debt on the car, not the lien. If the market value of the car is a lot less than what you owe, you might be able to redeem the car as part of your chapter 7, depending on when you bought it. Finally, if you file a chapter 13 and propose a plan that will pay off your arrears or, depending on when you bought the car, either pay off what you owe or pay off the value of the car, then the court won't give the creditor relief from the automatic stay, as long as you comply with your plan and any obligations to the creditor outside the plan. If you don't keep up with your obligations outside the plan, then the court will probably grant relief from the stay; if you don't keep up with your plan obligations, then there's a danger your case will be dismissed without a discharge.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/27/2012
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
They would have to obtain relief from the automatic stay to repo after you file. This would probably take about a month. Eventually, they will be able to repo. If you file a chapter 13, you can pay for the care over the next 5 years. You might want to look into that option.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 2/27/2012
Ipson Law Firm, PLLC
Ipson Law Firm, PLLC | Michael Ipson
The automatic stay will prevent them from taking the car immediately. If you car is worth more than the exemption value you have have to redeem or reaffirm the debt in order to keep the car.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 2/27/2012
    Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
    If you have no lien on the car and file Chapter 7, then you can "exempt" the car usually under 11 U.S.C. 522 (d)(2) and (5) assuming it is not a super expensive vehicle owned free and clear. If there is a lien on the vehicle, you would still have to make payments to the secured creditor to keep the car from being repossessed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    If You qualify for relief under Chapter 13, you can work out a payment plan that could allow you to retain your vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Bankruptcy, particularly Chapter 13, can prevent repossession of a vehicle and if you are behind on car payments, allow you to pay that arrearage over the course of a payment plan.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Maybe yes and maybe no. You can guarantee losing the car by doing nothing, and you will also then be sued for a large deficiency. Or you can file bankruptcy pro se, and probably lose the car because of not knowing what you are doing. The third choice is to see a lawyer. Without seeing your detailed finances, there is not a way to tell you if you can file or what happens to the car. Properly filed, a bankruptcy may provide you a good answer. And that means, get counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    They can not take it from you until they file a motion for relief in bankruptcy and then will get the judge to approve them to repossess.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    Yes. A car loan, mortgage, boat loan, or any type of loan that is secured by a collateral is called a secured debt. If you do not pay secured debts on time, the creditors can repossess the collateral. Bankruptcy won't help if you don't pay and do not have the intention to pay in the future.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    The Law Offices of Deborah Ann Stencel | Deborah A. Stencel
    A Chapter 7 will only briefly protect your car from repossession. A Chapter 13 repayment plan could possibly save your car from repo, but you would need to propose a feasible plan to repay this debt and possibly others you have. Also, a Chapter 13 can be quite expensive if just used to save a car from repo. You should consult with an attorney about your options ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    Moore Taylor & Thomas PA
    Moore Taylor & Thomas PA | Jane Downey
    It sounds like you need time. Consult a certified bankruptcy specialist about filing a 13.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    Neuhaus Law Office
    Neuhaus Law Office | Gregory M. Neuhaus
    Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will put an Automatic Stay on any actions by creditors. There may be several exemptions that could be utilized to protect your car. Value, debt and use will all be factors that may help you protect this asset. However, if the creditor trying to repossess your car has a purchase money lien on it, the protection of the Automatic Stay may be temporary. You should contact an attorney for a more complete answer.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
    Filing bankruptcy will stop any action by a creditor including vehicle repossession.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    If you are behind in car payments, one way to keep the car is to do a chapter 13 payment plan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If you are not paying the car loan, then yes the company can take the car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    Filing bankruptcy will stop any efforts to repossess your car for 60 days. Thus, you would want to file as soon as possible in order to keep your car.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/27/2012
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    The bankruptcy filing will trigger the automatic stay which will prevent creditors from taking collection or repossession efforts during your bankruptcy. However, the stay lasts only during the pendency of your bankruptcy, and may be shortened in certain circumstances. You probably should be talking to a bankruptcy attorney, most of the time our consultations are free.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney