Are you facing the repossession of a vehicle? Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be able to help you keep your car and manage payments on your loan. Attorney Ted Troutman offers free consultations to determine if bankruptcy is the right action for preventing vehicle repossession. Our Portland, OR, law firm has been assisting clients for over 30 years and can help you navigate this stressful time.
In many cases, filing for bankruptcy is recommended to help you avoid having a vehicle repossessed.
Understanding the Repossession Process
If you have fallen behind in your car payments, your lender typically has the right to repossess the vehicle. It can be a shock to walk out of work or your home and find your vehicle has been taken, and living without transportation will have harsh consequences for you and your family. There are some ground rules to repossession though, and knowing your rights will help prevent an unlawful repossession:
Force: The lender is not permitted to use force to take your car, and this means if you are in your vehicle or if the car is parked in your garage the repossessing agent cannot physically remove you or your vehicle.
Security interest: The contract you signed to purchase the car likely gave the lender a security interest in the vehicle until all payments are made. If your contract does not contain language granting the lender a security interest, the lender has no right of repossession.
It is not usually a requirement for the lender to give advance notice of intent to repossess, which is why it is so important to take action when you become unable to make payments.
Living without a car can worsen financial hardship. Our knowledgeable team knows how to stop a repossession and get you back on track.
Other than stopping a repossession by claiming it is being done forcefully or without the legal authority to do so, you remain vulnerable. Most agents will find a time when you are occupied and simply take your vehicle. Let us help stop the worry that you will wake up to find your car towed from your driveway. We will let you know your options, and help you decide what is best.
How Bankruptcy Can Stop Repossession
Chapter 7: Upon filing a Chapter 7 case, all creditors are given notice of the case, and of the existence of the automatic stay. The stay acts to automatically stop any action against a borrower, including an auto repossession. After the case is filed, buyers will decide whether to reaffirm the car loan and keep the car, or surrender the vehicle and have the debt eliminated.
Chapter 13: The automatic stay is also in place with a Chapter 13, and your auto lender will not be able to repossess your car if you file this type of case. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will pay a reduced balance and also a lower interest rate for your car. This makes keeping the vehicle an attractive option, and one that can be done without financial hardship.
The key is to act fast and speak with a qualified debt management attorney, such as Ted Troutman, at the first sign of financial trouble. The sooner you get a case on file, the sooner collection calls and lawsuits are put to a stop. We have the background you need to get a fresh financial start, and can help you organize your debts in a way that fits your budget.
Contact Us to Get Started
If you owe more than you make or are in danger of losing your car to repossession, contact us online or call to schedule an appointment. Let us help you manage your money in a way that makes sense, while still meeting the needs of your family.
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