Yes. Even if your vehicle was repossessed prior to you filing bankruptcy.
Federal law allows an individual who has filed bankruptcy to to compel the creditor (or collection agency) to return possession of the property. The reason is two-fold. First, the bankruptcy estate of the individual filing has been determined to include items the individual has an ownership interest in, whether he is in possession of them or not. Second, the automatic stay in bankruptcy prevents creditors from pursuing collections attempts until the stay is lifted.
Protecting Your Interests
The practical result of all of this is that provided your car has not been auctioned off, with the help of your Charlotte bankruptcy attorney, you can demand the return of the vehicle. Your attorney can help you decide if bankruptcy will protect the car, or if you will have to contribute financially in some manner in order to keep the car. This is a function of your exemptions in bankruptcy, which often protect 100% of your ownership interest in your vehicle.
You Have Options
Depending upon your equity in the car, and whether you file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may need to get caught up on payments prior to your 341 meeting, which takes place about 30 days after filing.
Plan For The Future
This is a great time to have a conversation with your attorney about the value of the vehicle, as well as other vehicle options you may have. Prior to filing bankruptcy is a great time to refinance a car or get into a different vehicle that you will keep through bankruptcy. Strategizing with your lawyer can yield wonderful results, while relieving you of other financial burdens like credit cards and medical bills.
Call me today to find out what your options are. I’m eager to help. 704.749.7747. Or, if it’s easier, contact us via email HERE and we’ll be in touch shortly to help.