Legal Question in Bankruptcy in California

I have a vehicle loan that is past due. I am filing Chapter 7 in California in a few weeks, and also have no desire to keep the car. Is there any benefit in waiting until after I file to surrender the vehicle? Or can I just do it now? I'd like to avoid the embarrassment of it being towed out from my driveway, hence why I want to surrender it one way or the other. Keeping it until post-file would require me to make another payment. Just wondering if I'd be wasting my money, or if there are any reasons to wait until filing.

Asked on 2/11/16, 6:52 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Charles Andersen Charles Andersen, Atty

You can keep it a little longer if you wait. (San Francisco Bankruptcy Lawyer)

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Answered on 2/12/16, 7:03 am

What you're talking about is a voluntary repossession that you arrange with the creditor. It sounds like you're filing your case without the advice of a lawyer which is always a risky proposition. Bankruptcy is a very complicated area of law and even most non-bankruptcy lawyers won't touch it because of the many pitfalls and potential errors that can have permanent consequences for a debtor. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can explain to you when would be best to give up the car if you're sure that's what you want to do and whether you should make any more payments. You ought to seek legal advice on this issue--some bankruptcy lawyers will do a limited scope representation for a lower fee than normal and for a very specific question or aspect of your case. It's worth looking into finding a bankruptcy lawyer in your county (or at least in the district where your case would be filed) who is open to limited scope representation--local bar associations often have an attorney referral service.

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Answered on 2/12/16, 11:36 am

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