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Worried About Car Repossession?

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Car Repossession Lawyer

Car Repossession

The threat of car repossession causes nightmares for many who have fallen behind in payments and fear running out of options. After all, losing your car could mean losing your ability to get to work or school, triggering an eventual financial catastrophe.

At the Sasser Law Firm, our knowledgeable attorneys frequently work with clients facing car repossessions and needing help fast. Our board-certified bankruptcy attorneys can act quickly to review your options and take the proper legal steps to protect you.

Contact us now to schedule a free consultation. You will meet directly with one of our skilled lawyers, who can discuss how to stop car repossession, whether through bankruptcy or other means.

How Can Bankruptcy Stop Car Repossession?

Although filing for bankruptcy is not the right move for everyone, it can stop a creditor from repossessing your motor vehicle. When you file for bankruptcy, the court issues an “automatic stay,” which prevents creditors from taking further action against you during bankruptcy proceedings.

Your options for keeping your car will depend on what type of bankruptcy you choose to file:

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are protected from creditors while you make a repayment plan to deal with your debts. When it comes to keeping your car from being repossessed, Chapter 13 may offer opportunities to:

  • Pay off your car loan, despite being behind on your payments
  • Increase the length of your loan to reduce the monthly payment amount by stretching payments over a more extended time period
  • Renegotiate the interest rate on your car loan, to lower it to decrease monthly payment amounts
  • Reduce the principal of the loan to match the value of the vehicle, known as a “cram down.”

Chapter 13 bankruptcy also has many other benefits, such as the chance to save your home from foreclosure. However, it requires you to take a hard look at your income and expenses to develop a strict budget and reasonable plan for repayment of debt.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you agree to liquidate your assets to pay off as much of your debt as possible. However, there are ways to save your car from being repossessed in a Chapter 7 case:

  • Reaffirming the debt. In a reaffirmation agreement, the debtor and the creditor agree that even after the bankruptcy case is resolved and other obligations have been discharged, the debtor will still be responsible for the loan. This may make sense if other large debts drive your car payments unaffordable, but removing those would get you back on track.
  • Redeeming the loan. After filing for bankruptcy, you may be able to negotiate redemption of the loan. Redemption allows you to pay the lender the value of the motor vehicle in a lump sum. Of course, this means you must be able to come up with the money for the lump-sum payment. However, a redemption could save you money if the loan balance is much more than the car’s current value.

Although Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives debtors an opportunity for a clean slate financially, it is not the best option for everyone. Therefore, talking to an experienced bankruptcy attorney about the best way to protect your car from repossession is essential.

What to Expect If Your Vehicle Is Repossessed

You know when you are falling behind on your car payments. However, you will likely need to determine how long a lender will wait to send a collections agency to repossess your vehicle. And the lender does not have to give you notice before the repossession.

Once your vehicle has been repossessed, you can expect the following:

  • The agency that took your car should notify you within 48 hours. You should receive a letter about contacting the lender and the agency that repossessed your vehicle. The notification will also describe any personal items in your repossessed car that need to be picked up.
  • Within 60 days (but likely sooner), the lender will send you a notice of intent to sell your vehicle. This notice will also explain any options to get your car back. One option will be reinstating the loan by making any past-due payments and covering costs related to the repossession. Another option will be redeeming the loan by paying a lump sum and fees related to the repossession.
  • The lender must allow 15 days between the time you are notified of the intent to sell and the sale of your vehicle. This gives you time to weigh your options, consult an attorney, and decide how to proceed. If the lender sells your car for less than what you owe on your loan, the lender will still come after you for the deficiency balance, so it is crucial to seek legal advice before that happens.

If your car has been repossessed and you don’t know what to do, contact our knowledgeable attorneys to discuss your options. Our car repossession lawyers will provide a free consultation without pressure to file for bankruptcy. We will be straightforward with you if we think a better option exists for resolving your situation.

What Happens If You Give Away Your Car during a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If you decide that you no longer want to try to keep your car, you can surrender your vehicle as part of the bankruptcy process.

Sometimes, the car may be worth less than you owe on the loan. However, the deficiency balance is considered “unsecured debt,” which means it can be discharged (or forgiven) as part of the bankruptcy process.

Talk to a Knowledgeable Car Repossession Lawyer in Cary, North Carolina

At the Sasser Law Firm, you will work directly with an experienced car repossession attorney, not a paralegal or a legal assistant. Our dedicated legal team understands your situation’s complex and time-sensitive, so we will act quickly to assess your case and lay out your options.

Schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable car repossession attorneys today to learn how we can help. Our law firm serves people throughout North Carolina, including Wake, Harnett, Johnston, Durham, Orange, Granville, Vance, Franklin, Warren, Nash, Lee, Chatham, and Moore counties.

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  • North Carolina Bar Association | Sasser Law Firm
  • Martindale-Hubbell award for high professional achievement at Sasser Law Firm
  • NC Bar Association Legal Specialization | Sasser Law Firm
  • Top Bankruptcy Attorney | Sasser Law Firm
  • American Bankruptcy Institute | Sasser Law Firm
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys | Sasser Law Firm
  • American Board of Certification | Sasser Law Firm
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