Only 16 months into a 36 month plan.
If your vehicle lien has been paid off, there is no reason I can think of why the lienholder shouldn't release the title back to you right away. Certainly more details could provide a better analysis of this situation.
Hope this perspective helps!
If you paid off the load outside of your plan in direct payments to the lender then they should release the title to you within a reasonable time. If, however, you "crammed down" the car loan through your chapter 13 plan then the lender is not required to release the title until your plan is completed and your case has been discharged.
Once the lien is paid off, the lien should be released - regardless of the chapter 13. However, if the chapter 13 payments does not fully pay the outstanding balance prior to filing, you may have to wait until you receive a discharge. Many chapter 13 plans fail. So, if your plan does not pay the car finance company all the pre-petition balance, and your plan fails, the balance will survive.
I hope this helps.
Steven A. Leahy
Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice, it is for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created or is intended to be created hereby. You should contact a local attorney to discuss and to obtain legal advice.