Can I lose my car if x-wife files for chapter 7? 22 Answers as of June 09, 2013

My x-wife and myself purchased a car together when we were married. She just filed a Chapter 7, and is surrendering the car. She is on the loan, but it is my car, I make all the payments, and I'm current. I didn't file a bankruptcy, but the lender has frozen my accounts and told me that if she does not reaffirm the debt, they will repossess my car whether I am current or not. Can they repossess? If not, is there any cases or laws that I can tell them that say I have a right to keep the car even if she doesn't reaffirm?

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Breckenridge and Walton
Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
Yes. Apparently the lender considers you to be in default because your co-signer is no longer willing to back you. You either have to negotiate something with the lender directly, refinance with another lender, or lose the car.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2011
Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
So long as you continue to make the car payments, you can keep the vehicle despite your ex-wife filing for bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/22/2011
The Law Office of Jacqui Snyder
The Law Office of Jacqui Snyder | Jacqui Snyder
Some lenders have started repossessing current cars if the debtor does not file a reaffirmation. Bankruptcy attorneys are trying to take this to court to stop it from happening, but its a new, big issue. Perhaps you should speak to your divorce attorney and see if there is anything in the divorce decree that could help push her into reaffirmation. Speaking more personally, if I were you, I would find a nice bank and refinance that loan out of her name. Even if they let you keep it, if no one reaffirms, they will not be able to report your continued timely payments to the credit reporting agencies.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/18/2011
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 6/9/2013
Kalra Law Firm
Kalra Law Firm | Madhu Kalra
If the auto loan is in your name and your exwife name and she files for bankruptcy and wants to surrender the car. As long as you are current with your car payment, the creditor cannot repossess the vehicle. However, if the auto loan is only in your ex-wife name, and she chooses to surrender, then, the creditor can exercise their right to repossess the vehicle.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/15/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    You are in a difficult spot, however, you may have the ability to object to your ex-wife's discharge of the car debt if it is reflected in your Divorce decree that the car was to be yours. Car Loan companies do have the ability to attempt to repossess if the debt is not reaffirmed, Chrysler Financial is notorious for this - regardless of whether or not the loan is current. You should definitely speak with a Bankruptcy Attorney to protect yourself and to determine your options.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    How is the car titled? Her only or the both of you. You should negotiate with the lender to assume the loan. What about equity in the car? Most are upside down. If there is substantial equity, the trustee will have a say in the matter. The loan company is correct in their threats. She has to reaffirm.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    So, you are not on the loan? If you are not on the loan they can take it. If you are on the loan you can keep it as long as you make the payments. One thing you can do, if you are not on the loan, is look at the marital settlement agreement (or judgement). What does it say about the car? If it mentions the car, see a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Lake Forest Bankruptcy
    Lake Forest Bankruptcy | Anerio V. Altman, Esq.
    Yes they can repossess the car. However, unless it is Ford, most lenders don't repossess the vehicle if you are current on payments. If it is Ford, you may want to give her a call and if she won't reaffirm, you will need to refinance your vehicle or try something else.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Yes, because it is in her name. Under bankruptcy law, personal property (i.e., your car) can be repossessed even though you are current on the payments if she doesn't reaffirm the debt. This is to ensure that the debtor truly gets a fresh start and if they are keeping something that they give the creditor back its right to take back if not paid. Being that they froze your assets, are you on the note also? If so, they may let you keep the car in your name if you agree to be responsible for the payments and you have the ability to pay for it. Good luck, sometimes these can be very sticky situations when it involves an ex-marriage!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    Her obligation on the loan will be discharged. Yours will not. Bankruptcy statute only gives two alternatives: reaffirm the car loan debt or surrender. I never allow my clients to reaffirm. I tell lenders we want to keep the car and make payments per contractual obligation. So far, every lender has accepted payments. They don't have to. Do you have equity in the car? In other words, is the car worth more than the loan debt? That would be the only reason to reaffirm. Have your lawyer dicker with the lender. Do they really want another used car to get rid of or do they want your payments?
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    If the debtor is the borrower then the car can be repossessed in the absence of a reaffirmation agreement. You may want to contact the lender to make arrangements to keep the car if you are the real "owner" even though not the borrower.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    Your question is confused. You say that your Ex is surrendering the car, but then assert that you own the car. So you need to write back and add a few facts. 1. Who is on the title of the car as "Owner? 2. How much is owed on the car? 3. How much is the car worth (cash price)? 4. Who is the lender? 5. What accounts did the lender freeze? The loan account? A savings account? Whose name is on each of these accounts? There are 2 lenders that always insist on reaffirmations; Ford Motor Credit and Santander. They have adopted this foolish policy, but they can afford to have money losing policies. Most other banks permit debtors to retain cars, as long as they pay absolutely on time and keep the car insured. That's because they will almost always take a loss if they repossess. Most bankruptcy courts will not approve reaffirmations, unless the car is worth more that the loan. Write back with more info. Good luck. Thank you for reading me. I hope you found this answer to be helpful. This answer is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is general information that should be discussed with your own attorney. Because the law in other jurisdictions is different and the facts of each case are different, consumers cannot rely on the opinions expressed here.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    That is a tough one. You need to see if they will take her off the account so you can still pay.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    Yes, they can repossess if the debt is not reaffirmed. My guess is the creditor is Ford Motor Credit. Am I right? If so, there isn't much you can do. If it's someone else, you might have a chance of negotiating with them, or maybe purchasing the car from them after repo (in essence, you're just entering into a new loan agreement with them).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Lewis Adams and Associates
    Lewis Adams and Associates | Lewis P. Adams
    The contract is between your ex-wife and her lender. The bankruptcy will eventually discharge the debt. The lenders only remedy is to collect the collateral, even if the loan is current, without a reaffirmation agreement. If the lender is not willing to contract with you on the vehicle, you are able to get a loan and purchase the car from the lender.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    As long as you keep your end of the bargain by keeping all timely payments made, you should be able to keep the car no matter what she does with it through bankruptcy. For the creditor to repossess the car when you are taking care of payments and the loan is in your name as well would be a breach of contract on their part.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Grasso Law Group
    Grasso Law Group | Charles Grasso, Esq.
    If your wife is surrendering the car and you are not on the loan or title, then the creditor has the right to take the car back whether the payments are current or not. Try to work with the lender directly and see if you can work something out with them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Ford will repo even if you're up to date. Frozen accounts sounds like a credit union, which are difficult to work with. If you're on the loan, the debt is yours alone, and bankruptcy rules don't apply to you. You must see a lawyer- consumer or bankruptcy- these creditors will lie to you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    If you are not on the loan, then they can repossess the car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    Unfortunately, you are in a difficult position. If you're not on title, then the bank can repossess the car if your ex-wife does not reaffirm the debt. Most finance companies will not repossess the car if the payments are up to date, but they can. If your divorce orders provide that the car is yours, then you may be able to use those orders to require your ex to reaffirm the debt so that you can keep the car and keep making payments.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law
    Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law | Paul Stuber
    My guess from your question is that she is the only one on the loan. If that is true and you want to keep the same loan going she will have to reaffirm. The other option is that you get your own financing and pay off the loan with a new loan in your name alone.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/13/2011
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