Falling behind on a car loan can result in the lender repossessing the vehicle. While it is possible to stop repossession by filing for personal bankruptcy, protecting a car from the creditor may only be temporary. It is important to understand the rights a creditor has to repossess a car during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Consumer assets that are not protected by state or federal law are sold in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to repay creditors. Lenders of auto loans usually file liens against the vehicles. This makes them secured lenders and gives them rights to the vehicle that supersede those of other creditors when the court releases the vehicle from the automatic stay. If the time comes that your vehicle is in jeopardy of being repossessed, do not panic, you still have rights. Repo men must follow the law when taking your personal property.
Repo men have many tricks in locating your vehicle but generally are not allowed to use force when doing so. Typically, repo men will wait until you have gone asleep or have left your vehicle for an extended period of time. Regardless, they are not allowed to “breach the peace,” a term that is defined broadly. Hotwiring vehicles or using duplicate keys are usually legal. Further, courts have found it to be legal to repossess cars in open garages (door is up), or carports. However, if the garage door is down or there are locks, the courts will likely find it to be illegal.
If you ever happen to catch a repo man in action, make sure you object or someone else (family, friend) at that time. Repo men do not have all encompassing power. Once there is an objection the repo man must stop, or it will be a breach of peace. With that said, do not act in a way that will put yourself or others in harm’s way. However, the repo man can try again another day.
Also, you should be aware that the repossession company is not entitled to your personal property found inside your vehicle. The creditor must use reasonable care to make sure your personal items are not lost or damaged. If your creditor can’t account for articles left in your vehicle, you may want to speak to an attorney about your right to compensation.
Finally and perhaps most important, you may still be able to get your repossessed vehicle returned to you by filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In order to accomplish this, you need to contact a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney AS SOON as possible after the actual repossession to learn about your options.
8 Key Ways A Lawyer Can Help With Bankruptcy
Our dedicated Prescott, AZ bankruptcy lawyers have helped countless individuals and businesses regain their financial footing. If you’re facing financial distress and considering bankruptcy in Prescott, Arizona, the experienced team at Wright Law Offices is here to guide you through this challenging time. In this listicle, we’ll explore the crucial roles a bankruptcy lawyer plays in your journey to financial recovery.
1. Assessing Your Financial Situation
Before any legal action is taken, your Prescott bankruptcy lawyer will thoroughly evaluate your financial status. This assessment helps determine whether bankruptcy is the right option for you and which chapter to file under (Chapter 7, 11, or 13).
2. Providing Expert Advice
Your attorney will offer expert guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. They will explain the potential consequences and benefits of bankruptcy, ensuring you make informed decisions every step of the way.
3. Filing The Bankruptcy Petition
Your lawyer will take charge of filing your bankruptcy petition. They ensure all paperwork is precise, complete, and compliant with the latest bankruptcy laws. Your attorney’s attention to detail minimizes potential complications, streamlining the bankruptcy process for a smoother resolution.
4. Automatic Stay Protection
When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is triggered, putting a halt to creditor collection actions. Your Prescott bankruptcy lawyer plays a crucial role in securing this protection. They work diligently to ensure the automatic stay is in place promptly, providing you with immediate relief from the stress of creditor harassment and legal actions.
5. Asset Protection
Your bankruptcy lawyer will work to protect your valuable assets. They’ll explore exemptions and legal strategies to safeguard assets such as your home, car, and personal belongings from being liquidated in the bankruptcy process.
6. Representing You In Court
If your case requires a court appearance, your bankruptcy lawyer will represent you diligently. They will handle all legal proceedings, making the process as stress-free as possible.
7. Negotiating With Creditors
Your attorney will negotiate with creditors to reach favorable settlement agreements, potentially reducing the amount you owe or adjusting repayment terms.
8. Long-Term Financial Planning
Beyond bankruptcy, your lawyer can help you develop a long-term financial plan to rebuild your credit and achieve financial stability.
Contact Wright Law Offices Today
At Wright Law Offices, we understand the challenges you’re facing. Our Prescott bankruptcy specialists have the knowledge and experience to guide you through these difficult times. Don’t let financial burdens overwhelm you. Reach out to us today for a confidential consultation.
Whether you’re a resident of Prescott or a business owner facing financial turmoil, our team is here to provide the legal support you need. We pride ourselves on delivering professional and compassionate service to our clients.
Bankruptcy may be a challenging path, but with the right Prescott bankruptcy lawyer by your side, you can regain control of your financial future. Let Wright Law Offices be your trusted partner in this journey towards financial recovery.
Don’t wait any longer. Contact Wright Law Offices today for expert bankruptcy assistance tailored to your unique situation. Take the first step toward a brighter financial future with us.
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