If I am having trouble keeping up with my car payment, can I just stop paying it and reaffirm the debt later? 18 Answers as of June 17, 2013

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Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
Please understand that bankruptcy is a very complicated process. It is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/17/2013
Michael B. McFarland, P.A. | Michael B. McFarland
If you stop paying, you risk repossession before you file bankruptcy. Also, if you are in default, you may not be able to reaffirm the debt in a Chapter. Depending upon when you purchased the vehicle, you may be able to modify your payment terms under a Chapter 13; but you should talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you file, to understand your options.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 6/14/2013
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
You would have to reaffirm before your case is closed.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/14/2013
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
If you are having trouble making your car payment & stop paying, the creditor will not offer you a reaffirmation unless & until you bring all past due payments current. Sounds like you may want to start looking for a more affordable vehicle when the creditor is able to repossess your current wheels!
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/14/2013
Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
Generally, lenders require that you be current, or be able to become current, order to reaffirm a debt. If you can't afford to make the car payment, it is likely that the court will not allow you to reaffirm the debt. In any event, you will have to complete the reaffirmation while your Chapter 7 case is open.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2013
    Law Office of Norman Moore
    Law Office of Norman Moore | Norman P Moore Jr
    This is a tricky question. You can only "reaffirm" a debt if the creditor is willing. If you stop paying, they might not be. If you have to stop paying and end up filing bankruptcy, you can walk away from the vehicle and not owe the balance of the loan. If you want to keep it, you will end up paying for it. You may be able to pay only what the vehicle is worth now, depending on when you bought it.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    SmithMarco, P.C.
    SmithMarco, P.C. | Larry P. Smith
    Once you stop paying, they are coming to repossess it. You have to get the bankruptcy on file first.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
    It is up to the creditor. If you get too far behind, they will probably want the car back.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You will still have to catch up on those past due payments. You may need a ch 13 for that but that is an expensive way to go.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Stuart P Gelberg
    Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
    You must reaffirm within about 40 days of filing or it will be too late. Generally I don't recommend reaffirming any debt. Just keep current and you will keep the car.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    If you are in the process of filing, I would suggest that you speak with your counsel.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    almost all creditors are going to require that the debt be up to date to reaffirm the debt.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Law offices of John P. Brooke | John Brooke
    If you are having trouble paying the car loan I wouldn't reaffirm the debt in the chapter 7. If you feel behind and it was repossessed the creditor would sue you for any deficiency. Reaffirming the debt makes you liable as if it wasn't included in your bankruptcy. Most banks would like you to reaffirm the debt but in most cases it's not necessary to keep the vehicle. Most lenders won't repossess the vehicle if you are current even though you didn't sign the reaffirmation agreement. You should ask your attorney and check on your lenders policies regarding reaffirmation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Heineman Law Office
    Heineman Law Office | Jeff Heineman
    If you stop paying before you file the Chapter 7, then, very likely, the lender will require you to pay the arrearage before the Lender agrees to reaffirm the debt with you. Of course, everything is a matter of negotiation, and your attorney could get the lender to agree to put the past-due payments onto the end of the loan. However, the lender is not required to do so, and, in my experience, lenders rarely do. It's better to keep current.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    If you are struggling to keep up with your car payment then the last thing in the world that you want to do is sign a reaffirmation agreement. If your loan is in default you will likely lose the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    Law Offices of A. J. Mitchell, LLC
    Law Offices of A. J. Mitchell, LLC | A. J. Mitchell
    Strongly recommend that you discuss this matter with your bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    Richard L. Hirsh, P.C. | Richard L. Hirsh
    In order to reaffirm, most auto lenders require that you bring the loan current. If you file a chapter 7 and the loan is not current the lender will typically seek court permission to repossess the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    Law Office of Erik Severino | Erik Severino
    You may not be able to reaffirm the loan in a ch. 7 bankruptcy if you are not current. However, some lenders may allow you to reaffirm, if not current, by allowing the loan to be paid off upon the last contractual date to make a payment.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/13/2013
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