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Roger, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 30909
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Car part of chp 13 bankruptcy that was discharged in Dec 2009. called

Customer Question

Car part of chp 13 bankruptcy that was discharged in Dec 2009.
called lienholder on may occasions to remove the vehicle only to
be told they want their money not the non working vehicle. We have moved from this property and have this being stored at a friend home. The collection agency still will not pick up this car; what are my options at this point. Live in Texas.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Roger replied 4 years ago.

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy litigation attorney.


This is a problem that I'm seeing more and more in my practice. Unfortunately, there is no law that REQUIRES the lender to recover its property.


About the only thing you can do is take the vehicle to the lender's nearest bank location, park it in the parking lot and take the keys inside and give them to a loan officer.


Other than doing this, there's really no way to force the lender to do anything. Also, you can't sell the vehicle because the lender still holds the title - - so if you don't do this, it will just sit there.


As for the debt associated with the vehicle, if you reaffirmed the car loan and agreed to pay it through your plan and also post-bankruptcy, you are still liable to the lender for the outstanding balance regardless of what happens with the vehicle.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The answer I have received previously through this engine was more precise, advise of collection letter being sent certified requesting them to remove property or I can charge up to 10.00 per day for the past 3.almost 4 years. 72.101 PERSONAL PROPERTY PRESUMED ABANDONED.


Service is okay.

Expert:  Roger replied 4 years ago.

I don't think that applies because you're still on the title to the vehicle.


Thus, it is your property - - with a lienholder maintaining its lien.


This is especially true if your chapter 13 agreed to pay this debt. In that case (which I assume is the case), you were not discharged of this debt and your ownership interest is still intact until the lender sues for possession of the property or to collect the outstanding balance.


At that point, you could ask the court to order the creditor to sell the vehicle and place the money received from the sale on your balance.


Had you filed chapter 7 bankruptcy, I would agree that you could claim the property as abandoned by the creditor, etc. But, that would only apply if you were discharged of owing the debt and surrendered any claim or ownership in the vehicle to the lender. But, if you filed a chapter 13, that's not likely what you did.


However, I do not think you can send an abandoned property notice to the lender - - because it is your property.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ford Motor Credit is the lien holder. Not doing the bankruptcy thing any more. Not settling on a car that does not run, they would not negotiate with me when chapter 13 was being discharged. Will not pay 6k on a vehicle that does not run, and has not ran in 4 years. And asking the court to order the lien holder; after 3 years??? Do you realize that the city in which I reside can site me on this vehicle being on the property not running, tags not current. This is definately not helpful.

Expert:  Roger replied 4 years ago.

I understand that you don't believe that you should be required to pay for a vehcile that is not running. However, if the debt was not discharged in your bankruptcy, then you are still liable and the lender can sue you for whatever is owed on the loan.


The only other thing that can help you is if the statute of limitations runs on the claim. In Texas, the statute of limitations is 4 years from the date of the breach - - the date you made your last payment to the creditor. If you can make it 4 years without being sued, then you would be immune from liability for the debt and you could send them a notice under the abandoned property statute.


However, until then, sending a letter to them on a debt that is still collectible on a vehicle that you still own (on the title) is not a good idea. All that will do is put you on their radar and make them come after you for the debt.

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