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

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Help with car - redemption, reaffirmation, etc...

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  • Help with car - redemption, reaffirmation, etc...

    Hi guys. I will try to be brief. 341 meeting July. Our car is a Subaru bought new and it serves us well. We have a very low interest rate and only 2 more years of payments. The creditor is Capital one who has turned us over to some other company called Ascension. They suck and of course they want a reaffirmation. Any questions I ask them, they answer with "we can't give legal advice" and when I ask my attorney's paralegal, he says, "they can answer that."

    I should insert here that I used a company legal benefit (Hyatt) to fund my chapter 7 and I believe this is why my attorney is non-responsive. I only talk to a paralegal and a different attorney entirely showed up for our 341. I'm not complaining (ok, so I am, a little) but I have only spoke with these people on the phone or via email. Never been to the office. You get the idea, it's a mill. But, a free mill for me so I come to you...

    What are my options for this Subaru with $6000 equity and a 3% interest rate - I owe $2000 in back payments (4months including Aug) They have sent the reaffirmation agreement. I can't scrape up 2 grand but I can get close. I tried to negotiate with them for a lower cure amount over a longer term but they kept saying "we can't give legal advice" The (sucky) lawyer will do the affirmation for $400 extra. I'm over a month past my 341 meeting so a decision must be made soon. My papers say I am going to reaffirm. No, I don't know people with 2 grand lying around....

    Can I fill out and sign this agreement and THEN negotiate a lower catch-up payment or do I need to settle up the unpaid balance before I sign? Will this affect my bankruptcy if I do anything BUT reaffirm? Are there companies who will buy this loan? The 722 redemption company that the paralegal set me up with says they only help people who are underwater. Can they still
    REPO even if I pay the whole overdue amount AND sign the agreement? Any and all help is appreciated as I feel like a pro se over here. I can absolutely afford the payments now that I don't owe every one else under the sun. but this catch up amount will put us right back in the red!

  • #2
    How much do you owe in total? You say you have 6000 in equity? Meaning the car is worth 6000 more than what you owe?

    The handling of the overdue amount should be spelled out in the reaffirmation agreement. It could be due immediately, it could be spread out over the remainder of the loan, it could be due at the end. Whatever. But make sure you KNOW. The reaffirmation agreement is, essentially, a new loan contract. Once you sign it there will be no more negotiation, you will be required to abide by it. It might as well be written in stone. So the time for negotiation is now.

    One thing that's often suggested here is to have your lawyer not sign off on the reaffirmation. Then it goes before a judge, who will probably refuse to sign off on it as well. This then leads to a retain-and-pay, sometimes called a "drive-through" or a "ride-through", in which you continue to pay the monthly note as if you reaffirmed but the creditor doesn't have the kind of legal power that a reaffirmation would give them. It's the best of both worlds. However, I think you have to be current or close to current for that to be an option. Others can clarify.

    I'm not sure how surrendering would work when you have that much equity: if you gave the car back would the 6k go to you or to the estate...someone else would need to answer that one for you. But if you COULD surrender it and get the 6k, that's what I'd do. Dump the car and the loan and buy yourself a 6k "beater" and enjoy not having a car payment for a while.
    This post does not constitute legal advice. If you use this advice instead of that of a lawyer, God help you.
    Filed CH 7: 5/11/17 341: 6/12/17 Discharge: 8/14/17


    • #3
      Originally posted by rjmwx81 View Post
      I'm not sure how surrendering would work when you have that much equity: if you gave the car back would the 6k go to you or to the estate...someone else would need to answer that one for you. But if you COULD surrender it and get the 6k, that's what I'd do. Dump the car and the loan and buy yourself a 6k "beater" and enjoy not having a car payment for a while.
      This leads me to a question. Why couldn't he sell the car for what he owes, plus the $6k in equity, and just pay the loan off?
      I know it's not what he wants, but with the $6k he could purchase another car outright, and I'd say that the value would come within what he would be allowed to keep in the Ch-7 rules.
      Just a question that was floating around in my head... 🙄🙃


      • #4
        I thought about that too. The main problem is that selling a car with a lien on the title is tricky. The buyer really has no guarantee that the seller is actually going to pay off the note as promised and get the lien release/clean title. So you have to find a buyer who's very trusting, or go through a dealership.
        This post does not constitute legal advice. If you use this advice instead of that of a lawyer, God help you.
        Filed CH 7: 5/11/17 341: 6/12/17 Discharge: 8/14/17


        • #5
          There are escrow services for private party car sales. But, since you already filed Chap 7, you can't sell it until the trustee releases interest in the asset or you get your discharge. Not reaffirming should not affect your discharge. It's risky, but you could keep the car in a garage and wait until after discharge and either refinance the loan or quickly sell the car.
          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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