Can your car be repossessed during chapter 13? 19 Answers as of March 19, 2014

I filed chapter 13 on 2/28/14 and my car was picked up on 3/5/14. Is this legal? I want to know what can be done about this. Now they are refusing to turn the car back over.

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The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
Unless they obtained permission from the bankruptcy court to do it (which is highly doubtful given the dates), they are in violation of the automatic stay and you can seek sanctions against them for failing to turn the vehicle back over to you. Your attorney will know how to deal with this.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/19/2014
Tokarska Law Center
Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
You should be able to get the car back provided that the chapter 13 (and we're talking for sure chapter 13 I assume) bankruptcy Plan proposed to bring the loan current. Talk with your bankruptcy attorney about this situation. They should be able to help you. If you don't have an attorney and are handling a chapter 13 bankruptcy yourself you should know that statistically speaking the success rates for pro per chapter 13 bankruptcy is less than 1%. You are encouraged to retain an attorney to handle your case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/14/2014
Meister & McCracken Law Firm, PLLC | Joanne M. McCracken
You need to consult your attorney immediately.
Answer Applies to: Arkansas
Replied: 3/14/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
It is a violation of the automatic stay. You can either, a) file a motion for a turn over of the vehicle, or b) ask the bankruptcy court to hold the creditor in contempt of court, or c) pursue both matters at the same time. You can also ask for your attorney fees and costs incurred in prosecuting these matters.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 3/13/2014
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
A good lawyer can get it back - you should have a lawyer in a CH13.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/13/2014
    The Law Offices of Deborah Ann Stencel | Deborah A. Stencel
    It sounds like a violation of the stay and that the car should be returned. Your attorney should be able to facilitate this for you.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    They cannot repossess the car without court permission. You should immediately demand the return of the car and if they will not return it, file a motion for contempt.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    No they cant without getting an order of relief of stay. Call your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    If the creditor was notified of your bankruptcy and if your plan called for curing the arrearage, the repossession is a violation of the automatic stay and you can ask the judge to order them to return it.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Turn this over to your counsel. The automatic stay was in effect when they took your car and you should be able to get it back.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Normally the Automatic Stay is in place and they cannot repo your car, assuming that you had it in the plan to be paid. See your attorney, and if you don't have one, get one immediately before the car is sold and you truly can't Get it back!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Havkin & Shrago | Stella Havkin
    It is illegal and you have to get a court order forcing them to turn it over.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    OlsenDaines, PC
    OlsenDaines, PC | Kristoffer Sperry
    If you're represented by an attorney you need to contact your attorney immediately. Generally, there is a stay put on all collection or repossession efforts. This means they cannot continue to collect against you while in bankruptcy unless they get leave from the court. Sometimes there is no stay/protection because of prior bankruptcy filings. You'll need to discuss this with your attorney, if you don't have one you need to get one. Generally, the creditor cannot sell the vehicle for 10 days, you'll have that time to work things out with the creditor before it goes to auction. Bottom line, you may be able to get the car back through the bankruptcy but at this point getting an attorney involved may be your only chance to salvage the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    Hopefully, since you have filed a chapter 13 case you have a lawyer representing you. Contact your lawyer immediately. It sounds as though the creditor did not receive a Notice of Automatic Stay which would have informed them if the bankruptcy filing. You don't say how the car lender is being treated in your halter 13 plan. These are not simple issues, so if you don't have a lawyer yet you should hire one quickly to try to protect the car.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    That is an automatic stay violation. You can sue them in bankruptcy court to return car.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    David Andersen & Associates PC | Jeremy Shephard
    A car can be repossessed in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if the creditor gets relief from stay. Your situation sounds like the notice of your Chapter 13 filing didn't reach the creditor (as it's mailed) before the repossession. If they had notice and repossessed the car without getting relief from the automatic stay, they could be sanctioned for their conduct. I would suggest having your attorney contact them and/or providing them the notice of your bankruptcy filing. He/she can file a motion with the court requiring they turn the vehicle over if they don't voluntarily.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Yes if you fail to make the payments.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    Unless the creditor received permission to repossess your car (by obtaining relief from the automatic stay), they have violated the automatic stay. Given the timing of the repossession, it is likely that they were unaware of the bankruptcy. However, if you have informed them of the bankruptcy and they still refuse to return the car to you, they can be liable for sanctions. You or your attorney need to inform them in writing (a copy of the notice of the bankruptcy) and demand return of the car. You need to make sure that you have a receipt for communication. If they refuse, you should contact an attorney to handle the complaint that needs to be filed in bankruptcy court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    Check to see if the car company filed a lift stay motion. If not, then they have violated the bankruptcy code. You may file an motion to recover the car. You may also get sanctions against them for taking it. You must either be paying on the car or your plan must provide for payment to the car company. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/13/2014
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