Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Logistics of buying a car before filing

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  • Logistics of buying a car before filing

    Uninsured medical bills and relying on credit cards to pay medical expenses and then household expenses has left me with no choice except to file for bankruptcy. I have a mortgage and a paid off used car with about 170,000 miles on it. I'm eligible for Ch. 7, but may need to file for Ch. 13. I'm not sure if I have unprotected equity in my home or not. My car runs fine now, but I'm concerned about how many miles I have on it. Right now, I'm current on paying on my credit cards. It takes a huge chunk of our income and leaves us really barely able to pay for food, etc. I'm concerned, though, that if I stop paying credit cards then I won't be able to get an auto loan. One lender did prequalify me for an auto loan but wants me to pay 20% down. I cannot come up with that 20% of the value unless I stop paying the credit cards. But then I'm afraid my pre qualification will be revoked and no lender will give me an auto loan because the failure to pay will show up on my credit report.

    I'm reading that people frequently buy used cars before filing. How does that work if you've stopped paying credit cards? Isn't it impossible to get an auto loan then?

    I would really appreciate any suggestions people have.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Originally posted by candyapple View Post
    I'm reading that people frequently buy used cars before filing. How does that work if you've stopped paying credit cards? Isn't it impossible to get an auto loan then?
    Welcome to BKForum!

    You have discovered the catch-22 situation where you need to buy a car, yet may damage your credit by not paying credit cards in order to purchase the car.

    The first thing in car buying is to SHOP the loan around to different places! I would try a few credit unions in my area, as well as national car-loan banks such as Capitol One Auto and Roadloans. You should be able to get 0% down financing. Then you go to the dealerships pre-approved. You can then leverage the dealers, only if you want, to have them shotgun the loan to multiple lenders to see if they can beat your pre-approval. Personally, I shop the loan myself and come to the dealership with a blank check (or pre-approval) and firmly tell the dealership that they are not authorized to shotgun my application.

    That is really your only choice unless your current vehicle will be reliable over the next 6 months. I say 6 months because you would be able to obtain car loans after your discharge. You'll receive many offers after discharge (and maybe even after filing) but you need to approach each of those offers as you would any offer.

    Remember that applying for auto-loan credit does not impact your score (as much) as every inquiry would be pooled and counted only once, if done with 2 weeks. (Not sure if it's still 2 weeks, but you'll want to do all your loan shopping during that period to avoid major impacts on your credit score.)
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


    • #3
      Will one month of credit card payments cover a down payment? Your late payments won't show up on your credit report until you are delinquent for 30 days.

      Before you make any car buying decisions, you might want to ask a real estate agent to give you an opinion of the value of your home so that you can decide whether you need to file a Chap 13. Not only because buying a car before filing isn't as important if you file a Chap 7, but also because you want to make sure that adding a car payment will not make proposing a feasible Chap 13 difficult.
      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!


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