July 27, 2021

Getting Your Repossessed Vehicle Back with Bankruptcy

If your vehicle or other property has been repossessed, it may be possible to get your property back when you file for bankruptcy. If you are timely and have a good attorney, the creditors can potentially be forced to return the property to you.

Examples of ‘other property’ that can be repossessed include jewelry, furniture, electronics, home appliances, and cash. Here we will focus on your repossessed vehicle, however, which is the most common property repossessed, and how to get it back.

It is very important to act quickly to get your repossessed vehicle back because the law states you must file for bankruptcy within 90 days of the repossession in order to retrieve the vehicle. However, you should act right away – because the creditor can resell your vehicle and it is then extremely difficult to get back.

When you file for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court can look at any payments and property transfers within the past 90 days and determine if they may hinder the repayment of creditors. Any payments or property transfers within 90 days before you filed for bankruptcy can be seen as a preferential transfer and can be reclaimed. When your vehicle is repossessed, the creditor is acquiring equity on it. Because of this, the vehicle can be seen as a preferential transfer and the creditor can be forced to return the vehicle to you.

Fortunately in this situation the law works in your favor, but the court must still be persuaded that the vehicle is rightfully yours and order the creditor to return it. Your attorney must file a bankruptcy petition and argue that the repossession of your vehicle is a preferential transfer.

If you are in this situation, speak with an experienced attorney to learn more about how to get your repossessed property back. The attorneys here at Clark and Washington have many years’ experience in helping debtors reclaim their repossessed vehicles, so we know how to use the law to your advantage.