Stopping Car Repossession | Rome, GA

Stopping Car Repossession in Rome, GA

How to Protect Yourself From Auto Repossession Using Bankruptcy

For whatever reason, falling behind on car payments can lead to the threat of losing your vehicle.  This can significantly disrupt your daily life, especially if you rely on your car for work, errands, or transporting your family. If this happens to you in Rome, GA, there are ways to stop car repossession. One option is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, a legal process that can help return control to your finances.

Quick Summary:

  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides a structured plan to reorganize debts. It allows individuals to keep assets like their vehicle while repaying creditors over 3-5 years.
  • Filing stops repossession attempts and provides breathing room.
  • Missed car loan payments can be repaid through a court-approved plan.
  • Eligibility determines if Chapter 13 is right for you.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as a wage earner's plan. It is a legal tool in the United States Bankruptcy Code. It allows individuals with regular income to create a court-approved repayment plan to manage their debts throughout 3 to 5 years. 

  • Debt Reorganization:  Chapter 13 focuses on reorganizing your current debts into a manageable plan.
  • Regular Income Requirement:  This is for people who have a steady income where they can catch up in payments. By doing this they can potentially reduce their unsecured debts.
  • Court-Approved Plan: An Attorney will help you in creating a payment plan for your debts. This Payment plan will have a given time frame where you need to pay. The court will review and approve the plan if it meets the established criteria.
  • Benefits:  Chapter 13 offers several advantages, including stopping foreclosure or car repossession. This will reduce unsecured debts, and provide a structured framework for becoming debt-free.

How Can Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stop Auto Repossession?  

Here's how Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help with stopping car repossession:

  • Automatic Stay:  When you file it starts an "automatic stay."  This is a legal order that stops debt collectors from bothering you. It gives you some breathing room to figure out a plan to pay them back without the stress of losing your vehicle.
  • Repayment Plan:  In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you'll create a payment plan approved by the court. This plan lays out how you'll pay back what you owe, including any missed car payments. As long as you stick to the plan and keep up with your current car payments, you can keep your car.
  • Potential Debt Reduction: Sometimes, with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you might not have to pay back all your unsecured debts. Examples are credit cards or medical bills after you finish your repayment plan. This could help your finances in the long term.

While Chapter 13 is a potential solution for stopping car repossession, it's important to understand some key points:

  • Eligibility:  Not everyone qualifies for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  There are income limitations and specific requirements about the types and amounts of debt you can include in the plan.
  • Costs and Fees:  Filing bankruptcy comes with its own costs to process. An attorney can help visualize all the potential costs and guide you through the process
  • Long-Term Commitment:  Sticking to the court-approved repayment plan for 3-5 years requires dedication.  Failing to pay or missing the planned obligations can lead to the case being dismissed. This can start the problem of vehicle repossession again.

What Are My Other Options?

While Chapter 13 can be a valuable tool in stopping car repossession, it may not be the only solution for everyone. Here are some additional options to consider:

  • Catching Up on Missed Payments:  The easiest way to get your loan caught up is to pay all the missed payments, late fees, and any other charges you owe. This stops the repossession process and allows you to keep your car.
  • Loan Reinstatement:  Some lenders might offer loan reinstatement, allowing you to bring your loan current in a lump sum payment.  An attorney can help you negotiate with the lender and understand the terms of reinstatement.
  • Loan Modification:  You might be able to modify the terms of your loan by negotiating with the lender. This could involve extending the loan term, lowering your monthly payment, or even reducing the total loan amount.

What Do I Do If My Vehicle Has Been Repossessed? 

Finding out that your vehicle has been repossessed can be a very stressful event. If you find yourself in this situation, it is vital to act promptly and decisively to address the issue.

  • Stay Calm and Gather Information: It's natural to feel upset or overwhelmed, but try to remain calm. Collect any relevant papers related to the vehicle. Example papers are your loan agreement, payment receipts, and correspondence with the lender.
  • Act Quickly: Time is of the essence. Get in touch with the lender or repossession company as soon as you can to inquire about retrieving your vehicle. There will be fees involving the storage and repossession itself and the costs will pile up.
  • Explore Redemption or Reinstatement: You might have the chance to get your car, depending on the lender's rules and state laws. Redemption means paying off your entire loan plus any extra charges. While reinstatement lets you catch up on missed payments and possibly return to your original loan terms. An attorney can guide you through these choices and negotiate with the lender on your behalf.
  • Understand Your Rights:  Even after repossession, personal items left in the car are still yours.  Contact the lender or repossession company to understand their policy so you can get your belongings.  An attorney can tell you about your rights and ensure you're not pressured into unfair conditions to reclaim your belongings.
  • Seek Legal Guidance:  Getting help from a lawyer who deals with car repossession is important. They can look at your situation, including any legal problems with the repossession, and tell you what to do next. This might involve questioning, talking to the lender about a payment plan, or looking at other ways to get your car back.

Remember, experiencing a vehicle repossession can be challenging, but it's not the end of the road. By staying informed, knowing your options, and finding help when needed, you can take steps in fixing the situation and get control back.

Call Our Auto Repossession Lawyers Today!

The Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly has skilled lawyers helping Rome, GA residents facing car repossession. We know this is a stressful situation. We're here to help you understand your choices and fight for what's fair.

Call our lawyers today and get a free consultation!

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