I frequently receive phone calls from people who have woken up to a nasty surprise. While they were asleep, their car was repossessed. Often it is the only vehicle they have and without a vehicle they cannot make it to work, or get their children to school. The main question I hear is: “Can you help me get my car back?”

Generally, YES, I can get your car back. If the car hasn’t yet been sold we could file a Chapter 13 to help get possession of the vehicle back. The automatic stay of the Chapter 13 will prohibit the lender from selling the vehicle and the Chapter 13 Plan will allow you to pay the balance of the loan over the life of the plan. Depending on your situation, I may be able to lower the interest rate or cram-down (restructure your debt to fair market value) the balance that has to be paid.

Local rules will require that you provide proof of three months of prepaid full-coverage car insurance with a $500 deductible.

Sometimes it may not make sense to get the vehicle back. If you owe more than the vehicle is worth or you cannot afford the ongoing payment a Chapter 7 might be a better idea. The Chapter 7 will keep the car creditor from coming after you for any deficiency owed on the car loan after it is sold. The Chapter 7 would also eliminate any other unsecured, non-priority debt that you have. Don’t worry about getting a new car loan. As soon as you file you’ll receive offers from numerous lenders. In fact, you may be able to get a new loan as soon as you have a bankruptcy case number.

If your vehicle has been repossessed, we may be able to help. I have offices in St. Louis and Barnhart or can speak with you on the phone about your situation. My bankruptcy consultations are always free and I look forward to hearing from you: 314-802-8328.