The debt problems many people face are frequently compounded when they receive notification that their vehicle is about to be repossessed due to default of payments. For many people, this means much more than relinquishing the property. It means they no longer have transportation to their place of employment, further impinging on their financial situation. However, there are options available to people who are facing repossession of their vehicle.
At the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we have provided debt relief services to people throughout Tampa and surrounding areas since 1991. Our attorneys have extensive experience filing bankruptcy cases under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, and have helped clients in addressing complex issues involving car loans and vehicle repossession. Our car loan lawyers counsel and advise clients on their legal options and assist them throughout the process. Depending upon your situation, we may be capable of helping you:
- Keep or redeem your vehicle for less than the full amount owed (under a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13)
- Keep or redeem the vehicle at a lower interest rate (under a Chapter 13)
- Surrender your vehicle and discharge your obligation to repay the car loan (under a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13)
Vehicle Redemption in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
The market value of motor vehicles drops quickly, resulting in debt obligations that are much higher than what the vehicle is even worth. Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code allows individuals to file a motion to redeem their repossessed vehicle if they can pay the fair market value of the vehicle in a single lump sum payment.
A similar option is available to individuals who are filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. If the vehicle loan is more than 910 days old and the vehicle was purchased for personal use, Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitioners are eligible to redeem the vehicle for its market value, rather than for the full amount owed on the vehicle loan. However, unlike individuals filing under Chapter 7, those filing under Chapter 13 have the benefit of up to 60 months to repay the full market value of the vehicle (through their Chapter 13 repayment plan). This allows debtors to eliminate the amount that is owed in excess of the market value of the vehicle. Alternatively, individuals filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may continue making car payments as they have in the past in order to keep the vehicle.
Surrender your vehicle and eliminate your debt obligations. It is important to understand that simply surrendering your vehicle in and of itself does not discharge your obligation to repay the car loan. However, when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to eliminate your debt obligation completely, if you are willing to surrender the vehicle. In these situations, the creditor may not collect anything that is owed on the car loan.
Contact a Tampa Car Loan Lawyer
To learn more about stopping repossession of your vehicle or how to redeem your vehicle through bankruptcy, contact our Tampa, Florida, law firm. Call us at 813-254-5696 to schedule a free initial consultation. Attorney Robert M. Geller is a certified specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification *.
Visit our bankruptcy information center to learn more.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
* Accredited by The Florida Bar to certify lawyers in the specialty area(s) of consumer bankruptcy law.