Is your car, boat, camper or motorcycle in danger of being repossessed?
VEHICLE repossessions can happen very quickly. All your lender is required to do is to give you 20 days to pay the past due balance. If you don’t pay all the past due payments within the 20 days, then the lender can repossess the car anytime during the life of the loan.
PLEASE REMEMBER, your lender is ONLY required to give you the letter about getting caught up on past due payments ONCE during the entire life of the loan.
But if your VEHICLE lender is a CREDIT UNION, they are not required to give you 20 days to pay the past due amount. Credit Unions can repossess without giving you 20 days to get current on past due payments.
Is your manufactured home in danger of being repossessed?
MANUFACTURED HOME repossessions can happen in a few weeks rather than a few days like vehicles. Usually, a lender with a lien on a manufacture home will file a lawsuit in Circuit Court called a Claim and Delivery Action. That lawsuit requires the lender to serve you with a Summons and Complaint. Those are the papers where the lender tells the court how much you borrowed and how far behind your payments are. Then, you have 30 days after getting the court papers to tell the Court your side of the story. Then the Court is required to hold a hearing. After the hearing, the Court typically gives the lender permission to take your manufactured home. Once the Court gives the lender permission to take the home, the lenders will first try to get you out of the home. To try to get you out, the lender will try to have the power disconnected from the home, or the lender will try to lock you out, or the lender will even have the sheriff put your furniture and stuff outside the home.
Depending on the type of case you file, bankruptcy can stop a repossession and give you 3 to 5 years to pay back what your vehicle or manufactured home is worth.
If your vehicle or manufactured home are worth less than you owe on the loan, a bankruptcy may be able to give you up to five years to pay back what the vehicle or home is worth, rather than paying back the full loan amount.
In order to pay back what a vehicle is worth, the loan must be 910 days old. To pay back what the home is worth, the loan has to be 12 months old, and the lender cannot have any land as collateral.
Has your car/home been repossessed?
If your car has been repossessed, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may force the lender to return the car /home if you file a Chapter 13 case BEFORE the car is sold at auction or before the lender takes possession of your home.
How much do you owe?
If the sale of the vehicle does not bring in enough money to pay off the balance of the loan, the lender can sue you for the deficiency balance (outstanding balance). If the lender sues you for the deficiency balance, he may also be able to require to you pay their expenses for repossession (attorney’s fees, repossession costs, repair or clean-up costs, and court costs). If the lender gets a judgment against you for the balance, the judgment will attach to any land you own in the County where the judgment was entered and appear on your credit report.
Filing Bankruptcy To Save Your Car/Home
Few people who face repossession have access to the lump sum of money needed to bring your loan current. For many people, filing bankruptcy is the only way to stop the repossession process. When you file bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay stops your creditors from pursuing any further collection activities against you or your property (including your car/home).
The automatic stay will stop your lender from repossessing your car and home. If your car was repossessed before you filed bankruptcy, the automatic stay can stop your lender from selling the car at auction. But you must file your bankruptcy case before your lender sells your car. This can happen very quickly depending on your state’s laws — sometimes within 10 days or less after the repossession. Bankruptcy can’t help you get your repossessed vehicle back after it’s been sold.
Your options to keep and pay for your car depend on which kind of bankruptcy you file.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Filling Chapter 13 can help you reorganize your auto loan and home loan debt to get a more affordable monthly payment and spread out past-due payments over several years.
At the heart of every Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan that lasts from three to five years. Through your Chapter 13 plan, you’ll pay either the full principal balance on the loan or the value of the car, whichever is lower (if you have had the loan for at least 910 days) , at a reduced interest rate. Your monthly payments are stretched out over the entire plan term.
Filing Chapter 13 can potentially affect all your debts, not just your car loan. Also, for the bankruptcy court to approve your Chapter 13 repayment plan, your paperwork must show that you can afford your plan payments. To successfully complete a Chapter 13 case, you’ll likely need to hire a bankruptcy attorney.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy doesn’t require a repayment plan, so you usually have to be current on your vehicle loan if you want to keep your car in a Chapter 7 case. That said, there are still some benefits to filing Chapter 7 if you face a car repossession.
If you file Chapter 7, the automatic stay may also get rid of a deficiency judgment if your car is repossessed and sold for less than you owed on the loan.
Determining What Is Right For You
It is not easy to figure out what will help and what to do. My suggestion is to find someone you can talk to that is willing to talk to you to find out what your situation is and whether or not a bankruptcy can help or not. Bankruptcy is not a solution for everyone.
I am offering a FREE consultation so that you can thoroughly understand your options. I will personally take your call to explain the bankruptcy process and costs so you can make an informed decision for your future. You are not hiring me with this call. You are simply learning more about your options. Our discussion will be fully confidential.