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Many people filing for bankruptcy want to keep their car and you’re in luck, as you can often keep your car in bankruptcy. Find out how.

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding how to deal with your car loan. Whether you want to keep everything as is or walk away from a bad deal and buy a different car after filing – the choice is yours. Upsolve explains your options so you can make the decision that’s right for you.

This page is your home base for learning about what a bankruptcy filing means for your car.

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Can I Keep My Car If I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 1, 2022

Most people can keep their car and get debt relief by filing bankruptcy. Of course, if you need a fresh start but you need your car just as much, you probably wonder about how this works in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Keep reading to learn what a bankruptcy filing means for your car.

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Can I Buy a Car After Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 26, 2021

Yes, but it makes sense to wait as long as you can after receiving your discharge. You'll need to be careful and make certain that you’re getting a good deal.

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Car Repossession 101

Written by Amy CarstLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 8, 2021

This article will answer some common questions about vehicle repossession, including why it happens, what the steps are in this process, and how you can get your car back, after it’s been repossessed.

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Reaffirmation Agreements

Written by Attorney Jenni Klock Morel
Updated August 17, 2020

People who file bankruptcy are often concerned about what's going to happen to their car. Signing a reaffirmation agreement is one option that lets you keep your car and continue making the payments, but it's not the only option and might not be the best option in your situation. Read on to learn about how reaffirmations work and factors to consider when deciding whether to sign a reaffirmation agreement.

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Can Filing Bankruptcy Help With a Repossession?

Written by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated April 6, 2022

So long as your car hasn’t already been auctioned or sold, filing bankruptcy can help stop repossession. If you file Chapter 7, the automatic stay gives you time to negotiate new, more affordable loan terms with your car lender. It can also get rid of a deficiency judgment if your car is repossessed and sold. Filling Chapter 13 can help you reorganize your auto loan debt to get a more affordable monthly payment and spread out past-due payments over several years.

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How to redeem your car?

Written by Attorney Jonathan Petts
Updated January 5, 2021

Redeeming your car debt in bankruptcy can make sense if the car is worth much less than the amount you owe on your car loan. Redemption allows you to pay the lender the value of the car, rather than the larger amount you owe.  

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What does it mean to surrender your car in bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 8, 2020

If you surrender your car as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your car debt is erased by the bankruptcy discharge.

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What To Do If You Changed Your Mind About Keeping Your Car

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 3, 2020

Did you originally plan on keeping your car but changed your mind? That is totally ok! Here is what you need to do to make sure you’re protected, depending on where you are in the process.

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If I surrender my vehicle, will I be responsible for any balance owed?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 22, 2020

No. Even if the car is sold for much less than what you owe on the loan, your personal liability to pay the loan is discharged.

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Do I own my vehicle? What percentage of it do I own?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 19, 2020

Whether or not you own your vehicle depends on whether you purchased it using a loan or leased it from a dealer or other agency.

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Why doesn't my car appear on my exemptions list?

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad
Updated July 22, 2020

There are a few reasons that your car(s) might not be listed on your exemptions list.

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How Do I Reaffirm My Car Loan?

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law GradLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated August 11, 2020

The 6-step process of reaffirming a car loan.

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How can I surrender my car in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law GradLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 12, 2022

"Surrendering" your car means that you give it back to the lender that gave you the loan to purchase it. If you surrender your car as part of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, any debt that you owe on it will be eliminated when you receive your bankruptcy discharge.

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I want to redeem my car. When do I do it?

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad
Updated July 22, 2020

"Redeeming" your car means that you buy it from the lender that you financed it with for the fair market value of the car, paid to the lender in one lump sum. The rest of your loan is discharged.

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What To Do If Your Car Lender Won't Talk To You After Filing

Written by Attorney Eva Bacevice
Updated September 3, 2020

It is not uncommon to have a lender react this way after a bankruptcy filing. When you file a bankruptcy an automatic stay goes into effect, which means that creditors cannot continue in any collection efforts while the bankruptcy is ongoing.

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Car Co-Owner vs. Co-Signer: What’s the difference?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated October 30, 2021

A co-signer on a car loan is obligated to pay the loan if the other person defaults on their payment obligation while a co-owner of a car has an ownership interest in the vehicle itself. This article explains how to properly disclose these relationships in your bankruptcy forms.

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What Happens to the Co-Signer of a Car Loan in Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 28, 2021

If you have bought a car and your loan has a co-signer, you may wonder what will happen to the co-signer when you file bankruptcy. This article explains your options and how they'll affect your co-signer.

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How To Get a Reaffirmation Agreement in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Written by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated May 11, 2022

To keep your car during and after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you sometimes need to sign a reaffirmation agreement with the lender and have it approved by the bankruptcy court. This agreement is a contract that confirms you're committed to continue paying your car loan after bankruptcy. It comes with a risk: If you fall behind on your car payments after your bankruptcy, your car may be repossessed and you may be left to pay a deficiency balance.

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Can bankruptcy help me get my car back after repossession?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated October 1, 2021

If your car has been repossessed, you’re probably stressed out and worried. If you have fallen behind on your payments and are wondering if bankruptcy can help get your vehicle back, the simple answer is yes, though it doesn’t always make sense to do so. If your car has been repossessed bankruptcy can help you get it back as long as you quickly take action to recover your vehicle.

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Can I Discharge Tickets, Fines & Tolls in Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated October 2, 2021

If you have any traffic tickets or court fines, then filing bankruptcy may help you get out of debt. You will first need to determine which Chapter of bankruptcy will be most helpful in your situation. At Upsolve we provide the tools you need to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. If you feel more comfortable using a bankruptcy lawyer we can help you find one.

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Why do reaffirmation agreements exist? 

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated October 20, 2020

If a debt is reaffirmed, the lender can repossess the car if you default on payments AND sue you for the balance left on the loan. Find out why reaffirmations exist.

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How to Amend your Statement of Intentions

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated March 29, 2022

The Statement of Intentions is the bankruptcy form that you filed with the court to let your creditors know what you want to do with your secured debts, most often a car loan. If you have changed your mind and need to amend (update) your Statement of Intentions, follow the steps outlined in this article.

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What Happens If I Have A Car Accident After Filing Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 3, 2020

While a property settlement from the insurance company may have to be paid to the trustee, any personal injury settlement you’re entitled to as a result of the accident is yours to keep. This article will explore what steps to take if you get in a car accident after filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Why can’t I login to my account to pay my car loan anymore?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated July 22, 2020

After a bankruptcy filing, some creditors block you from logging in to your account. This becomes a problem if you want to keep your car and need to make your payment. Unfortunately, there isn’t much consistency among lenders on when and why they do it. They say it’s because they don’t want to violate the automatic stay. Unfortunately, what it really does is make it much harder for the filer to make their payment. 

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Repossession After Bankruptcy: What You Should Know

Written by Attorney Jenni Klock Morel
Updated October 19, 2021

You have options for what to do with a car loan when filing a Chapter 7 case, including reaffirmation, redemption, or surrender. Entering into a reaffirmation agreement can lead to new debt problems if you default on your car loan payments after bankruptcy. The purpose of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to put you in a better financial situation than before filing and give you a fresh start. Keep reading to find out what to expect if your car is repossessed after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Do I Still Owe After My Car Is Repossessed?

Written by Attorney Amelia Niemi
Updated November 29, 2021

Unfortunately, having your car repossessed isn’t the end of the road on your car loan. Many Americans owe more on their car than it is worth and their loan is “underwater.” Here’s what you need to know about vehicle repossession and how Chapter 7 bankruptcy can offer some debt relief.

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Can I Buy or Refinance a Car During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 11, 2021

Yes, you can buy a new (to you) car while your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is pending. If possible, wait until your discharge has been granted as that will give you more negotiating power with the bank.

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Confused After A Reaffirmation Hearing?

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated September 3, 2020

Reaffirmation Hearings: An overview of possible outcomes and what it means for you.

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6 Things You Should Know About the Statement of Intentions

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated April 5, 2022

If you’re planning on filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have a car loan or other secured debt, here are 6 things you should know about the Statement of Intentions.

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What Is A Charge Off On A Car Loan?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated December 11, 2021

A charge-off on a car loan is when the creditor declares the debt uncollectible. The creditor can still collect the charged-off debt and you still owe it.

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Filing Bankruptcy After a Car Accident

Written by Attorney Kassandra Kuehl
Updated May 16, 2022

This guide will introduce you to the process of filing bankruptcy in the wake of a car accident so that you can make an informed decision about your legal and financial options at this time.

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What If I Have a Car Accident During My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case?

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston
Updated August 11, 2020

Getting into a car accident during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can make an already stressful situation even more stressful. This article will discuss those concerns and what happens after a car accident after filing bankruptcy.

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What Do I Do About My Car Payment That Is Way Too High?

Written by Attorney John Coble
Updated November 29, 2021

If you're like most people, you had to take out a loan to buy your car. Car loan payments usually rival health insurance, student loans, and housing payments for the highest expenses. This article will cover your options to reduce your car payment with or without bankruptcy.

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Can the Bank Repossess My Car?

Written by Attorney Curtis Lee
Updated October 24, 2021

This article provides an overview of the auto repossession process. It includes information about what a lender will do after they repossess your car, what legal rights you have, and the options you have available to get your car back.

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How Does The Repo Man Find Your Car?

Written by Attorney Thomas J. Pearson
Updated August 25, 2021

Vehicle repossession occurs when a lender takes a car back from a borrower when the borrower falls behind on loan payments. If you are concerned that your car may be targeted for repossession, there are things you can do to lower your risk of missing payments. Read more to learn what a repo man can and can't do, what happens after repossession, and what steps you can take to avoid repossession in the first place.

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Are There Any Advantages to a Voluntary Repossession?

Written by Attorney Thomas J. Pearson
Updated April 12, 2022

Voluntary repossession is when you give your car back to the car dealership instead of waiting for the lender or collection agency to repossess it. It can be a decent option if you’re having trouble with monthly payments on your car, if you're only able to make late payments, or if you’re going into bankruptcy. Deciding if it’s the right move depends on your personal situation and goals. This article will explain voluntary repossession, how it can affect your credit history, and how bankruptcy may or may not help with repossession issues.

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Salvage Title Cars: Everything You Need To Know

Written by Mark P. Cussen, CMFC
Updated December 12, 2021

A salvage title car comes with its own set of risks and limitations. But if you know the car’s history and the person who is selling it to you, a salvage title car may be a good deal in some cases. This article will discuss the pros and cons of buying a car with a salvage title, how to identify, finance, and insure a car with a salvage title, and what steps you can take to get a rebuilt title issued for your car.

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What Is a Buy Here, Pay Here Dealership & How Does It Work?

Written by Mark P. Cussen, CMFC
Updated November 29, 2021

If you’re shopping for a car and you have bad credit, you may have trouble getting financing. You can try to get a personal loan from a local bank or a friend or family member. But if that doesn't work, you may have to go to a buy here, pay here (BHPH) dealership. These dealers offer in-house financing to people with bad credit. If you really need a car, they can help you get one. But there are also downsides to financing with them. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of buy here, pay here dealerships.

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Ohio Vehicle Repossession Laws

Written by Mark P. Cussen, CMFC
Updated September 20, 2021

If you take out a loan to buy a vehicle and you become unable to make the payments, then you run the risk of having your vehicle repossessed. Vehicle repossession laws are largely the same in all states, but some details governing borrowers’ and lenders’ rights differ from one state to another. Here we will examine Ohio’s laws and what you need to know if you live in Ohio and can’t make your payment or have already experienced vehicle repossession.

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Can’t Afford Your Car Payment? Here Are Your Options

Written by Attorney Curtis Lee
Updated December 12, 2021

If you can’t afford to make your car payments, it might seem like losing your vehicle is inevitable. Thankfully, that’s not true. While your chances of keeping your car are better if you have a high credit score, you can avoid defaulting on your auto loan even if you don’t have the best credit history. You have several options, some of which will allow you to keep your car and others that require you to let it go. This article will examine what those options are.

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The Ins and Outs of Subprime Auto Loans

Written by Attorney Tori Bramble
Updated November 26, 2021

When it comes time to buy a car, if you have a low credit score or limited credit history, you may be worried about getting turned down for an auto loan. But borrowers who have poor or bad credit scores can still qualify for subprime auto loans. These are also called second chance auto loans, and some auto lenders and dealerships specialize in them. Though these loans can help finance the purchase of a new car or used car, they also have some drawbacks. This article will explore the ins and outs of subprime auto loans, so you can decide if they’re right for you.

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What Is a Good Credit Score for Buying a Car?

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated December 9, 2021

To get an auto loan with a good interest rate and manageable monthly payments that fit your budget, you’ll need a decent credit score. That begs the question, what is a good credit score for buying a car? Generally, you’ll need a FICO credit score that’s 500 or higher, but to get better terms and a better interest rate, you’ll want a credit score that’s higher than 660. This article will explain credit scores and what to do when purchasing a car with bad credit. We’ll also touch on how to improve your credit score and other helpful information on financing your auto loan.

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4 Tips To Get Out of a Car Lease

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 11, 2021

Leasing a car can seem like a great idea at first. But over time, leasing a vehicle may become more of a burden. Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks of leasing a car is how difficult and expensive it can be to get out of your lease early, regardless of your financial status. Thankfully, there are a few ways that you may be able to unburden yourself from a lease you no longer want to be in. You may be able to transfer the lease, buy the leased car and sell it to someone else, trade in your car, and/or lower or suspend your payments. This article will explore each of these options in detail.

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Are 72-Month & 84-Month Auto Loans Good Financing Options?

Written by Chiara King
Updated November 29, 2021

A car payment is often one of the largest recurring expenses in a household’s monthly budget. Because of this, it’s not surprising that many car purchasers are now choosing to spread out the cost of a new car over extended periods of time using longer-term loans. These longer-term auto loans typically last 72 or 84 months and generally have lower monthly payments than shorter-term loans. This can make them an attractive option, both for budget-conscious car shoppers and for those who want to buy a more expensive car than they could afford with a standard loan length. Longer loans do have significant drawbacks, however, which car buyers should carefully evaluate before they make a loan commitment.

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How Does Repossession Work?

Written by Attorney Curtis Lee
Updated October 24, 2021

Repossession happens when a lender takes your property after you miss one or more payments on the debt secured by the property. There are different types of loans, and not all loans allow for repossession.

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Consumers’ Rights – Repossession Notices

Written by Attorney Tori Bramble
Updated October 12, 2021

When you stop making payments on certain debts, creditors can repossess your property without giving you notice. In many states, the lender doesn’t even have to tell you it’s going to repossess. No matter how far behind you are on your payments, you have rights. This article will explain the repossession process, how it applies to different property, post-repossession notices, and how to get your property back after repossession.

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Can You Return a Car You Just Purchased to the Dealership?

Written by Attorney Aan Malahia Chaudhry
Updated November 6, 2021

Returning a car you just purchased isn’t easy. In general, car dealerships don’t take returns or offer return policies. But there are a few exceptions, including some that are part of your rights as a consumer.

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9 Ways To Get Out of an Auto Title Loan Without Losing Your Car

Written by Chiara King
Updated November 28, 2021

A car title loan allows you to get cash by using your car’s title as collateral. These loans are based on your car’s value, not your credit, so you don’t need to go through traditional loan approval processes to get one. Though these loans may seem like an ideal solution to an emergency need for cash, their high-interest charges, and extremely short loan terms make them difficult to manage.

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Car Title Loans: Advantages, Disadvantages, & Alternatives

Written by Chiara King
Updated November 6, 2021

Car title loans are a fast and easy way to get cash, but they should be used only as a last resort. These loans are risky because their short loan terms and high APRs make them difficult to pay back, which increases your risk of repossession.

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Lemon Laws for Cars: How They Protect You

Written by Attorney Todd Carney
Updated October 31, 2021

Lemon laws are in place to protect car buyers in all 50 states, who were sold defective vehicles. A defective vehicle is one that has serious problems that the manufacturer cannot fix. There is no standard in each state for what is considered a defective vehicle. If you’re in the market for a new or used car, knowing your lemon law rights will help you avoid getting stuck with a lemon and won’t drive you crazy.

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What Are the Effects of an Auto Loan Default?

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated December 15, 2021

If you’re struggling to make your car payment on time, you’re probably already feeling stress and frustration. Once you’re behind on payments you’re considered delinquent and your credit score will take a hit. Falling further behind moves you into default on your auto loan, which will come with even more serious consequences.

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The Pitfalls of Leasing a Car When You Have Bad Credit

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated December 9, 2021

If you need a car but you don’t want to purchase one outright, leasing may be an attractive option. It gives you flexibility and package options without the maintenance hassle of car ownership. But if you have bad credit, it may be difficult to get approved for a car lease. And if you are approved, it may be more expensive. This article outlines how your credit score plays into the car leasing process, how to increase your chances of being approved for a lease, and other options you have besides leasing.

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Mechanic’s Liens: What They Are and How They’re Used

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated November 26, 2021

A mechanic’s lien is a legal tool tradespeople use to make sure they get paid for the work they do and the supplies they contribute to projects. They’re common when you book construction workers. If you’re having work done on your home, it’s good to be aware of these liens. If subcontractors or other workers don’t get paid, it can put your property at risk.

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Can a Mechanic’s Lien Be Placed on a Financed Vehicle?

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated November 28, 2021

A mechanic’s lien is a legal claim, or security interest, that is created when a mechanic does work on a vehicle, and they are not paid as agreed. This lien may allow the worker to keep - and even sell - the vehicle if they aren't repaid. These liens may be applied even if the vehicle hasn't yet been fully paid for.

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Upside Down Car Loans

Written by Chiara King
Updated December 11, 2021

A car loan is "upside down" or "underwater" when the borrower of the loan owes more than the vehicle is worth. This negative equity situation can cause financial problems if a car is stolen or needs repairs that insurance won’t cover. Borrowers have options to flip their loans "right side up" or get them out of their upside-down loan obligations.

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Can You Sell a Car That Has a Lien on the Title?

Written by Attorney John Coble
Updated December 12, 2021

If you want to sell a car that has a lien on the title, you’ll need to take a few extra steps. If you trade your car in with a dealer, they’ll handle the process. If you sell to a private party, you’ll need to handle getting the lien released. You can do this at the lender’s office or hire an escrow company to help. If you have negative equity in the car, you’ll need to be able to pay it off to get the lien released.

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Buying a Car With No Credit History: What You Need To Know

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated April 12, 2022

If you don’t have a credit history, you can still buy a car, but it will be more difficult. Without a credit history, it’s hard for lenders to know how risky you are as a borrower. You may be offered loans with higher interest rates. Some financial institutions specialize in giving loans to borrowers without a credit history, so it's worth shopping around.

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Getting a Car Loan if You Have Bad Credit

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated November 29, 2021

If you have bad credit it may be more difficult to get a car loan, but it's not impossible. Some lenders will charge higher interest rates, but you can shop around for loans to see which lender will give you the best terms. You can also work to improve your credit so you'll have even better options in the future.

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Can You Trade In a Car With Negative Equity?

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated November 28, 2021

If you have an auto loan on a car and you owe more on the loan than the car’s worth, you have negative equity. You can trade in a car with negative equity, but you’ll need to pay off the negative equity or roll it into your new car loan. If your car has negative equity, it’s usually best to wait to trade it in until you’ve addressed it.

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Can You Sell a Car That Has a Lien on the Title?

Written by Attorney John Coble
Updated December 12, 2021

If you want to sell a car that has a lien on the title, you’ll need to take a few extra steps. If you trade your car in with a dealer, they’ll handle the process. If you sell to a private party, you’ll need to handle getting the lien released. You can do this at the lender’s office or hire an escrow company to help. If you have negative equity in the car, you’ll need to be able to pay it off to get the lien released.

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Strategies To Lower Your Car Payment

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated November 29, 2021

If your monthly car payment is too expensive, there are ways to lower it! Start by talking to your lender to see what options they can offer. You may be able to defer your payment if you’re facing a short-term financial difficulty. Otherwise, refinancing your car loan or selling or trading in your vehicle can help lower your payment. If you’re getting a loan to buy a car, try saving up for a bigger down payment, improving your credit score, and shopping around to compare different loans to make sure you get the lowest car payment possible.

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What Are Guaranteed Auto Loans and How Do They Work?

Written by Attorney Paige Hooper
Updated November 29, 2021

Guaranteed auto financing allows people to buy cars even if they don’t qualify for traditional car loans. Dealerships will look at your current income and employment to determine whether you qualify. You may need to meet minimum income requirements and offer a down payment. These auto loans typically have high interest rates and fees. Shop around and read the fine print carefully to be sure you get the best terms.

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Is Auto Loan Pre-Approval a Good Idea When Buying a Car?

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated December 8, 2021

Getting pre-approved for an auto loan is often a good idea. It will help you know how much money you can take out and what your monthly payments and interest rate will be. It also gives you power at the car dealership because it’s like being a cash buyer. When you get pre-approved, the lender will run a hard credit check, so only do this when you know you’re likely to qualify for the loan.

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Can You Get a Car Loan While You’re on Unemployment?

Written by Attorney Eric Hansen
Updated November 22, 2021

If you’ve lost your job and you’re collecting unemployment, you may still be able to finance a car, but it will be harder to get approved for a loan. Unemployment isn’t a long-term, stable income source, which lenders want to see. They’ll also look at your credit history and score and income sources when you apply for the loan.

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Rebuilt Title Car Loans Explained

Written by Attorney John Coble
Updated November 30, 2021

When a car's title is classified as a "salvage" title, this means that the vehicle has either been severely damaged or totaled. If the vehicle is repaired, the salvage title classification may shift to a "rebuilt" title. Buyers should be cautious when purchasing a vehicle with a rebuilt title because the car or truck may cost more to insure and the purchase may be harder to finance. Buying a vehicle with a salvage title is a process additionally burdened by the costs of repairing the damaged car.

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Selling a Car With a Loan: Processes and Options

Written by Chiara King
Updated November 30, 2021

Before a car that is not yet fully paid for can be sold, the lender's legal claim to the vehicle must be cleared. Paying off the remainder of the loan balance will clear that claim. A prepayment penalty may also become due if the loan is paid off early. If paying the balance remainder isn't an option, the borrower can speak with the lender about transferring ownership. If the lender is also an auto dealer, a trade-in opportunity may be available.

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Is It a Good Idea To Lease To Own a Car?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated November 30, 2021

A lease-to-own or rent-to-own program allows a borrower to make installment payments on a vehicle over the term of the lease. Once all the payments have been made (per the terms of the lease), the borrower assumes ownership of the vehicle. The dealer holds title to the car or truck in a lease-to-own agreement while the borrower (lessee) continues to make payments. These arrangements can particularly benefit borrowers who have bad credit, as these borrowers may not qualify for traditional leases. As these agreements tend to be expensive, it is important to understand the terms of any such contract before entering into one.

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Is It a Good Idea To Pay a Car Loan With a Credit Card?

Written by Robert Greenbaum
Updated December 8, 2021

Using a credit card to make auto loan payments can help borrowers to make ends meet temporarily when their budgets don't stretch far enough. However, putting car payments on a credit card can lead to big interest charges and risks to a borrower's credit score. It is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of making even a single auto loan payment on a credit card before committing to this plan of action.

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Refinancing a Car Loan With Bad Credit

Written by Attorney John Coble
Updated November 30, 2021

Favorable auto refinancing terms are often extended to borrowers with good credit. Borrowers with bad credit need to "shop around" carefully to secure decent refinancing rates. If decent rates are extended, refinancing an auto loan can save a borrower thousands of dollars. But, borrowers with bad credit need to understand the terms that they are being offered carefully or the potential savings overall could be minimal.

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Refinancing a Car Loan With Bad Credit

Written by Krishna Patel
Updated December 8, 2021

Having bad credit doesn’t mean you can’t get an auto loan or refinance your current auto loan to try to get better terms. Refinancing your auto loan can help you get a lower interest rate, lower monthly payments, and save money on the total cost of your loan. This article will talk about how refinancing works, the pros and cons of refinancing your auto loan, and some of the factors you should consider when shopping for a refinance loan.

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Should You Surrender an Unwanted Car in Bankruptcy?

Written by the Upsolve TeamLegally reviewed by Attorney Andrea Wimmer
Updated February 28, 2022

If you’re financing a car with a car loan, you’ll need to decide how to deal with it when you file bankruptcy. If the payments are too high or you simply want to get rid of the car and the loan, you can surrender the vehicle back to the lender and have the debt discharged as part of your bankruptcy case. Often, the lender will pick up the car or schedule a mutually agreeable place to meet. If they don’t, you may need to seek legal help.

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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.