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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?

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?

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

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

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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Should I File for Bankruptcy After a Repo?

Filing for bankruptcy after a car repo can get rid of any remaining debts that you have for your car.

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How to redeem your car?

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

The 6-step process of reaffirming a car loan.

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How can I surrender my car in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

"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?

"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

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?

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 Cosigner of a Car Loan in Bankruptcy?

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?

A reaffirmation agreement is a binding contract, and as such you should give careful consideration to the costs and benefits prior to entering into one.

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Can bankruptcy help me get my car back after a repossession?

Filing bankruptcy may allow you to get a car back after it has been repossessed. This article explores how this might work in Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 bankruptcy and why it may not always be a good idea to try.

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Can bankruptcy help me get my car back after repossession?

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?

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? 

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

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?

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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

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6 things you should to know about the Statement of Intentions

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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

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?

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

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

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

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?

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

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?

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?

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

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?

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

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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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.

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