How to Protect Your Automobile While Filing Chapter 13

Hello everybody, I’m Attorney Carmen Dellutri with Dellutri Law Group, and I want to talk to you today about how to protect your automobile, your personal vehicle, while you file Chapter 13. This is a huge concern for a lot of people, because of the rumors out there where people think if you file bankruptcy, you lose everything. In Chapter 13, nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact in Chapter 13, you’re formulating a repayment plan for all your creditors. So it doesn’t matter to me if you’re current at the time you file your Chapter 13, meaning all your payments are up to date on the day you file your Chapter 13, or if you’re four months behind and you file Chapter 13. Because we can write a plan of repayment that your creditor, meaning the lender on your vehicle, they should be willing to accept these payments.

Let’s face it…They don’t want the car back. They don’t make any money by taking cars back. They make money by selling cars and the money they make on their financing. So they want you to keep your car as long as you file bankruptcy and do it properly, you should be able to keep your car in the future.

The good thing about Chapter 13 is, there may be ways where we can manipulate the contract. We might be able to reduce the value of the vehicle so you pay less. We might be able to reduce the interest rate, so you pay less, and we might be able to shorten the loan so that you pay less over a shorter period of time. I know that sounds foreign to a lot of people, but Chapter 13 is a debt reorganization for individuals with regular income. In there, there’s a lot of tools in my toolbelt to help you, the consumer, save money going forward.

So, if you’re thinking about filing Chapter 13, and you have a vehicle payment, you definitely want to discuss with your attorney exactly how you can save money, keep your car, and keep making payments over time, so that when you pay the car off, you get your title, and then you could trade that vehicle on another vehicle, or just drive on it, in a vehicle that has no car payments. That’s entirely up to you. But we’re to help with those decisions, giving you the opportunity I guess, to make the best legal decisions you can. Folks, if you’re thinking about filing bankruptcy and you’re worried about keeping your car, please feel free to call us at Dellutri Law Group. We’re always here to help. Thank you.