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Repossessions in Hayward

A car repossession can be an embarrassment and an inconvenience – even worse, it can potentially prevent you from being able to get to work. Sometimes, this can cause a chain reaction of problems that throw your life into disarray. For example, 1) a creditor repossesses your car, 2) you are no longer able to travel to work, and 3) you no longer have income to pay your other bills. This may force you deeper into debt; result in more creditor action, plunging you into a personal and financial quagmire.

Most types of repossessions, such as car repossessions or home foreclosures, can be stopped or delayed by filing for bankruptcy. Although filing for bankruptcy is not the right choice for everyone, for many debtors in Hayward, bankruptcy can present the opportunity for a fresh financial start.

How the Automatic Stay Can Stop a Repossession

When you file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the automatic stay immediately stops any attempt from creditors to repossess a car or foreclose on a home. Just like it sounds, the automatic stay is automatic; there are no steps other than filing for bankruptcy that are necessary for this protection. The automatic stay also stops other creditor activities, such as:

  • Filing a debt collection lawsuit;
  • Calling you in an attempt to collect a debt;
  • Sending you letters;
  • Initiating or continuing with foreclosure proceedings; or
  • Garnishing wages.

If a creditor makes an attempt to repossess while the automatic stay is in effect, they can be liable for contempt and may have to pay damages, including attorney’s fees.

If repossession has already occurred, bankruptcy may be able to help you get your property back. For example, if a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan includes all back payments and all future payments, the debtor can file a motion for turnover with the bankruptcy court. If the court grants the motion, the lender is compelled to return the property.

How Long Does the Automatic Stay Last?

Unless the creditor files a motion for relief from the stay, the automatic stay will stay in effect until the bankruptcy case is closed or dismissed. In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, this will generally be between three and six months. However, in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, this will be either three or five years.

However, it is important to note that the creditor does have the right to petition the bankruptcy court to lift the automatic stay. If the bankruptcy judge lifts the stay, the lender may resume attempts at repossession.

Contact a Hayward Repossession Attorney

If you live in Hayward, California or a surrounding area and are worried about repossession, it is important that you contact a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. After the repossession occurs, your options may be more limited. The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare has experience offering repossession advice and, if appropriate, helping Hayward residents through the bankruptcy process. If you are interested in speaking to an experienced bankruptcy attorney, contact us online or call us at 510-255-4646.

The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code

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