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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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my car was repossessed yesterday. payments are current. currently

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my car was repossessed yesterday. payments are current. currently discharged from chapter7 bankruptcy. Bankruptcy lawyer contacted regarding reaffirmation as requested with chapter7 filing. attorney states he filed for reaffirmation. Creditor states that he did not file correctly so they repossessed my auto. who do i believe and how do i get my car back?
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Usually, the debtor and attorney fill out the reaffirmation agreement, and then send it to the creditor to file. The court may not allow you to reaffirm the debt, however, if it does not appear that you can afford to make the payments. So, the problem could have been one of 3 things: (1) your attorney may not have sent your reaffirmation agreement to creditor or fill it out correctly, or (2) the creditor may not have filed the reaffirmation agreement, or (3) the judge may not have approved the reaffirmation agreement. I think that you'll need to seek clarification from your attorney in order to find out why the reaffirmation agreement is apparently not effective.

Assuming the reaffirmation agreement was properly sent to the creditor, then you do have an argument that you've done everything that you needed to do on your end, and that the creditor had no right to repossess the vehicle even if the reaffirmation agreement was never filed or accepted by the court. I did not find a Michigan case on the subject, but there are cases in other jurisdictions (e.g., Maryland) on the subject and they are in your favor on that issue. So, you need to talk to your attorney to find out exactly why the reaffirmation agreement fell through. If the issue was not on your end, then you have an argument that the car should not have been repossessed merely because of the ipso facto clause in the contract (i.e., the clause which states that filing for bankruptcy is considered a default).

Of course, you can also contact the creditor to see if they'll work with you at all. It may be possible for you to simply sign a new note obligating you to pay a debt in order to get the car back. You could even try to get a new loan elsewhere, though that may be impossible due to the bankruptcy (or perhaps not impossible, but under disfavorable terms). I'd talk to the lawyer and creditor first.

If you would like any additional information or need clarification, please do not hesitate to ask!

Also, I strive to be as helpful as possible so that you are satisfied. Accordingly, please remember to give me positive feedback (doing so does not end our discussion). If you feel the need to rate me poorly, please stop and instead of rating me, reply via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue that you have. I will be happy to continue our discussion and do everything that I can to provide you with the service that you seek.

Thank you.
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