How to File For Bankruptcy to Get Repossessed Items Returned
Repossession is an act that occurs when someone has defaulted on their payments.
To many Americans, the idea of the repo man can be equated to a real-life boogie-man.
The thought that someone sneaking around in the night (or day) can legally come and take your beloved items away flies in the face of the American dream of prosperity.
Luckily, for those who file bankruptcy online, repossession doesn’t have to mean permanent loss. Here’s how you can get your items returned by filing for bankruptcy online today.
Repo Problems? File Bankruptcy Online
Those who have experienced repossession feel violated. It’s like getting kicked when you are already down on your luck. Here are some things to keep in mind to decide if you should file bankruptcy online and get your items back.
Timing is everything when it comes to repossession and your ability to get your items back when you file bankruptcy online.
The sooner you contact a lawyer about the repossession, the better off you are.
That’s because the window to get your things back through foreclosure closes quickly. You have 90 days to file from the day your items were repossessed.
A lawyer can help you navigate the nuances of filing to ensure you get your items returned.
Some items, like cars, won’t be issued back to the original property owner if they have already gone to auction. In many cases, the time period between repossession and auction is as little as 10 days.
Don’t wait to speak to someone about how you can file bankruptcy online.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
There are two types of bankruptcies that individuals can file. These are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 13 is sometimes known as “wage earner” bankruptcy.
Under Chapter 13, individuals can file bankruptcy online before repossession occurs, as soon as they learn they are at risk.
This can help people avoid repossession by offering a payment plan where back payments and new payments are made concurrently. But what about people who are already suffering the stress of repossession?
That’s Where Chapter 7 Comes In
Similarly to Chapter 13, if you have not yet experienced repossession but you are at risk, Chapter 7 offers an automatic stay that prohibits debt collectors from repossessing your property or attempting to collect on any debt.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the end of it. Because pesky debt collectors who are eager to repossess your property can move that the court allow them to do it anyway.
Those motions are typically granted unless the person filing for bankruptcy has a lawyer or knows their legal rights.
With the assistance of a lawyer, individuals will protect their assets against debt collectors by invoking one of two options.
Redeeming property is a right that is invoked when an individual who has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy buys back an item from a lender for a mutually agreed upon sum.
Usually, it’s less than what they owe.
Reaffirming property means that the individual who filed for bankruptcy and the lender have come to new terms on their agreement.
This could mean packaging missed payments to the end of the loan or a completely new monthly payment amount.
But buyer beware, reaffirming debt does not waive liability for the remaining balance. Should the individual default again and the item, let’s say a car, is repossessed they will likely be responsible for paying.
Conversely, if you allow the car to be repossessed under the terms of your initial Chapter 7 bankruptcy without reaffirming debt you are not usually liable for payments on the repossessed vehicle.
Chapter 7 and Getting Your Stuff Back
If acting quickly and using the help of a lawyer, it’s possible to get items back when you file bankruptcy online.
In most cases, it will require a court order. That can be obtained when a lawyer motions that a payment has been made within the previous 90 days to a lender, offering the premise of illegal preference.
The preference to pay a creditor within 90 days prior to bankruptcy is not something that gets to be decided by creditors and therefore attempts to collect are considered illegal.
Getting an item, like a car, back means you will now be faced with redeeming or reaffirming the debt.
Other Ways to Get Your Items Back
Some creditors will work with you outside of bankruptcy courts, offering other ways to get items back.
These could include:
- Right to reinstate the contract
- Lump sum payment of defaulted loan
- Returning of loose personal items in the repossessed item
- Negotiate with the creditor
- Buy it at auction
Always contact a lawyer if you think you are at risk for repossession or have had an item repossessed. The right attorney will advise you on the best way to get your items back, if possible.
Timing is important so there’s no time to waste. If you are facing repossession, follow these steps:
- Contact a lawyer.
- Try to negotiate with creditors for better terms.
- Pay extra on your regular payments when you can to build up a safety net.
- Claim all benefits intended to protect consumers, like homesteading a property to reduce mortgage payments.
- Seek professional advice before turning over your property.
If you do these steps, you may not be able to prevent repossession but you can rest assured you are doing everything to get your important purchases back where they belong.
File bankruptcy online or call us today to set up a consultation.