Disposing of An Unaffordable Vehicle Through Bankruptcy
- November 20, 2013
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In the shadow of a tenuous economy, the vehicle that you leased or purchased can very rapidly become an enormous financial inconvenience, filing for bankruptcy may help individuals who find that their vehicles are not longer affordable within their current lifestyles. As one can easily imagine, banks and lending institutions are not typically amenable if one simply tries to give their vehicle back. If one falls behind on payments, usually the vehicle will be repossessed and sold at an auction and the debtor will owe the difference between the sales price and the amount that is still owed on the vehicle. If a debtor files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, he or she can forfeit any property that serves as a security for a loan relinquishing any continuing obligation to repay the outstanding debt. When a debtor surrenders property during the pendency of bankruptcy proceedings, he or she is effectively discharged of any obligation to repay any remaining loan for that property. Any bank or lending institution is precluded from continuing to seek repayment from the debtor as soon as he or she files for bankruptcy. Although filing for bankruptcy will have a negative impact on a debtor’s credit score, they will be relieved of their loan obligation instantly. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy also provides a debtor with another option if he or she wishes to keep the vehicle. A debtor may be able to redeem his or her vehicle through a I.R.S.C. Section 722 redemption, in which a debtor is afforded the opportunity to pay off the actual value (or current fair market value) of the vehicle instead of the full balance of the loan. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may provide a debtor in this situation with another option. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding, a debtor can cram down a secured debt, if the debt exceeds the value of the collateral. Therefore, if a debtor owes $15,000 on a vehicle that has an actual value of $8,000, the debt can be readjusted to conform the actual value of the car instead of the loan balance when the debtor’s monthly repayment amounts are calculated by the court. If you believe you are in over your head due to a luxury vehicle or other luxury purchases and believe you need help, it is critical that you seek an experienced bankruptcy attorney to assist you with your consumer debt issues and advise you properly in regard to the bankruptcy. For more information regarding Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, exemptions,foreclosure or other consumer debt issues visit TheNJBankruptcyAttorney.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.