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

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Car Dealer Won't Release Repossessed Vehicle

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  • Car Dealer Won't Release Repossessed Vehicle

    My vehicle was repossessed on Nov. 9th and I filed a Pro Se Chapter 13 minimal filing on Nov. 13th. I took the proof of Bankruptcy Filing to the car dealer and they refused to release the car. I sent out a demand letter on the 15th, which was received on the 17th. I called again on the 28th to the dealer for return of the vehicle and was refused once again. Even though the repossesion happened BEFORE the Chapter 13 filing, I am under the impression that not releasing it is a violation of the Automatic Stay. What can I do next to get back my vehicle ASAP? This is in the State of Nevada and thanks in advance for any advice.

  • #2
    Most major automobile lenders are "nice" and would rather not "eat steel" (lose money on the vehicle) and rather it be paid inside the Chapter 13 over being auctioned. Your State non-bankruptcy laws will apply here. In Florida, we have no right of redemption once the vehicle is repossessed. Again, some creditors are "nice" about it, but the non-bankruptcy law will convey which rights they have to the vehicle. You may be using a Buy Here/Pay Here dealership and they are notoriously unapologetic and cold.

    The Chapter 13 automatic stay should prevent them from selling the vehicle (if they haven't already sold it). Your recourse is through the bankruptcy court. You would file a Motion for Entry of Order to Show Cause and/or a Motion for Violation of the Automatic Stay and/or a Motion to Compel Turnover. You should no longer communicate directly with the creditor because you can already see that they are not listening.

    You will need to know the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and serve the motion(s) appropriately (typically all addresses on the Claim -- if it has been filed), and possibly on a corporate officer and/or the registered agent of that creditor. Service is important.

    Also, you say that you filed a skeleton (emergency) Chapter 13. Without a Plan of Reorganization (Plan) filed, the creditor has no idea of your intentions and this could be the reason why they are waiting. Did you ever file your Plan? Does your plan provide "adequate protection" to that creditor? Did the creditor file a claim?
    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
      A couple things to add to JB's excellent comments:

      1. You better have full coverage insurance on the vehicle.

      2. Unless you sought an extension, you had 14 days from the filing date to file all Schedules, Statements and the Chapter 13 Plan. Did you file all required documents or seek an extension? If not, your case is subject to dismissal and, once dismissed, you have no right to demand the turnover of the vehicle. If you seek to reinstate the case (if it gets dismissed), anything that happens between the dismissal and the reinstatement (such as the disposal of the repoed vehicle as allowed under State law) will not be undone by the court.

      I strongly recommend that you hire an attny.



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