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Car Redemption After Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Discharge

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  • Car Redemption After Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Discharge

    I was discharged from NJ Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 in Sept 2017. I had an outstanding and delinquent car loan balance of 12k. My car was worth far less. Requested to redeem my vehicle. Based on proof and appraisals of similar cars the judge granted the redemption for the amount of 3k. This was reasonable but at the time did not have the funds.
    The car loan was discharged along with my other debt. Now 6 months later, I still have my car but not the title. The lingering thought that they can at anytime repossess my car is frightening! I now have the 3k and would like to negotiate an offer for payoff for the title. But is this really possible after the fact? Theoretically, there isn't a balance and how to trust that they would release the title? Lenders are not a traditional bank. They are unethical with tons of lawsuits and complaints. If we did come to an agreement how to make sure it is legal/binding and will hold up in court. I did not have an attorney for my bankruptcy or I would be speaking to him about.

    Thank you in advance for any advice or help in this matter.

  • #2
    It is possible if the lender will agree. In this situation, I bet they will. Call and make the offer. In fact, start by offering half of what you are willing to play or less. Once you come to an agreement, ask them to put in writing that they agree to return the title to you and release the lien upon receipt of payment of he agreed amount. If the terms of the agreement are in writing and signed by the creditor, you will be able to hold them to the agreement.

    If that is not successful, you might be able to reopen the case in order to redeem. Maybe somebody else knows is if that can be done.
    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


    • #3
      Thanks for your advice!


      • #4
        Yes, you can reopen the case and file a motion to redeem. That is sometimes necessary in order to obtain a title so that one can junk a non-functional car, which the lender never bothered to repossess. However, contacting the lender would likely be cheaper and easier. If the judge already set the value of the car at $3000, and you are willing and able to pay the $3000 now, then I see no reason why the lender would not accept that. If the redemption value is $3000, then that means that the selling price at a repo auction would be less than $2000, probably closer to $1200-1300, hence why they haven't picked it up.

        I would recommend contacting the lender and telling them that you have discharged the debt in bankruptcy, and would like to pay off the redemption amount set by the court in order to obtain the title. They are likely to cooperate because they want money, and attempting to repossess the car and auction it off would not make them any money--it would likely cost them money. Just be sure to get a letter from the company specifically saying that they accept $3000 as payoff in full, and will release any and all security interest in the vehicle before you send any money.


        • #5
          Thank you for your advice! Just spoke to my car lenders and we came to an agreement of $2500 to redeem the car. They agreed that the payoff amount would relinquish me of any liens and release any and all security interest in the car along with sending me the title after payment. But unfortunately, the rep explained they do not issue this agreement in writing after a customer has been discharged from bankruptcy! I was like how can I in good faith trust you on just your word. Especially, your company’s unethical reputation. All she could tell me was it is their policy; they record all their conversations and that they do these transactions all the time. As much as I would like to finalize this I will not send them the money. I will though, look into opening the case.

          Thanks again.


          • #6
            Originally posted by conniek View Post
            But unfortunately, the rep explained they do not issue this agreement in writing after a customer has been discharged from bankruptcy!...All she could tell me was it is their policy; they record all their conversations and that they do these transactions all the time.
            There is nothing to prohibit sending such a payoff letter for a discharged debt. The person you spoke to is full of it. If this really is the company's policy, that policy can only exist for one reason: so they can convince people to send money, hoping for a lien release, and then cash the check, keep the money, and "forget" about the verbal agreement. Remember that although companies record telephone conversations, they do it for their benefit, not yours.

            The correct way to proceed at this point is to reopen the bankruptcy, and request the redemption for $3000, the valuation already set by the court. The court will compel the lender to accept this amount and release the title.


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