The most important element in retrieving your repossessed vehicle is timing. Once your vehicle is repossessed by the lender, you must immediately contact a bankruptcy attorney so that they can begin the process.
In California, there are laws governing how repossessions take place, and lenders are required to give you notice. It’s these notices that you need to be aware of and respond to immediately.
Notice #1: The repossession agency has 48 hours to give you a Notice of Seizure which will include the contact information of the legal owner and the repossession agency.
Notice #2: The repossession agency must then give you a 15 day notice of their intent to sell your vehicle. You then have the power and the legal right to request a 10 day extension which will buy you more time to file bankruptcy.
It’s important to note that California law requires the lender to reinstate your loan if you repay all the past due payments. However, they are only required to do this once in a 12 month period or twice over the life of the loan.
If you know that you cannot afford to pay back all of your delinquent car payments immediately, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy may help you. But you need to move quickly because once your vehicle is sold at auction it will be too late.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Even if you’re delinquent on your car payments, you can still keep your vehicle if you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to repay your delinquent car payments over the course of three to five years along with your other debts.
Once you file Chapter 13, the bankruptcy court will put an automatic stay on the sale of our vehicle. This means that the lender cannot auction off your vehicle until that stay is lifted. After your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan is approved by the trustee, your vehicle will be returned to you.
If at any point you fail to fulfill the requirements of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, the lender will resume collections actions, including repossession.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Even if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may still have a chance to get your repossessed vehicle back. However, you will need to cure any default (catch up on missed payments) and the lender may ask that you reaffirm the debt.
If you’ve lost your vehicle to repossession, call us today, we may help you get it back.