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Filing bankruptcy stops creditors’ collections against you immediately. But sometimes a creditor tries to get permission to collect anyway.

In our last 10 blog posts we’ve been talking about the “automatic stay.” It is one of the most important and immediate benefits of bankruptcy. The automatic stay stops most kinds of creditor attempts to collect their debts against you, your income, and your assets.

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Here are examples of the reaffirmation of a secured debt (like a vehicle loan) in a Chapter 7 case vs. addressing it in a Chapter 13 case.

The last blog post was about when to reaffirm a secured debt under Chapter 7 and when to handle that under Chapter 13 instead. This kind of comparison of options can get a bit dry. So today we’re demonstrating how it really works with some examples. We change the facts a few times to show when each of these two options makes more sense.

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Posted on in Secured Debts

You can usually keep collateral you need to keep by entering into a “reaffirmation agreement” with the creditor during your Chapter 7 case.

Last time we got into debts that you might voluntarily pay after a Chapter 7 case out of personal obligation. Today we cover debts voluntarily paid but for the purpose of keeping the collateral that’s securing the debt. This is usually done by “reaffirming” the secured debt.

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Filing a Chapter 7 or 13 case both stop creditor collection actions against you just the same. But after that the differences are huge.


Last time we focused on how you can use the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 options to your time advantage. Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” is very fast. If all or most of your debts can be discharged (written off), that quickness can be an important advantage. But its speed can be a downside. If you are behind on a secured debt, Chapter 13’s 3-to-5-year-long duration can be a crucial advantage. It not only buys you time but gives your protection and flexibility for dealing with such special debts.

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If your vehicle is worth less than its debt, and you can get the money representing that value, you can “redeem” the vehicle free and clear.

Two blog post ago we went through a list of ways Chapter 7 buys you time with your vehicle lender. Included was that it buys “time to gather funds to redeem your vehicle for less than you owe on it.” This “redemption” option deserves more attention.

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