For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, when & how do I supposed to return my car? After 341 meeting? After full discharge? Thanks!!!

Asked about 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

I am thinking about filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy. I have a house and a car, which I was not able to make payments for the past year. I was a small business owner, but my business failed. I do not have any income at all. The repossession people visited my residence a few times, but I do not live there any more. I am living at my brother's place. My goal is to keep the car as long as possible, so I can save up some money to buy a used car.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Paula Brown Sinclair

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . I respectfully disagree with your first-responder, Mr. Goldstein. You have no legal obligation to cooperate with a repossession. However, you are risking a nasty surprise. The day the creditor finds the collateral and takes it, could be a rather inconvenient mess.

    Before any more time passes, you should make the effort to consult with an experienced bankrtupcy attorney. You will learn that once a bankrtupcy petition is filed, the creditor cannot legally take the collateral until they have obtained the proper court order allowing the repossession , even if you state an intention to surrender. What you may also learn from an adept bankrtupcy practitioner, on the other hand, is that you do not yet need a bankruptcy because you have no income or assets to protect. If you do not know a reliable bankruptcy lawyer, use the attorney-finder at I am a longtime proud member of NACBA, and trust my CA colleagues to advise accurately and protect clients aggressively.

    Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
  2. Mitchell Paul Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Hiding collateral is a crime in some states. Let the creditor know where it is. If you have not filed, you have no protection and they have a right to take it. If you intend to surrender it, do not hide it while you work on filing, the problems that you create are not worth it.

    Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.... more
  3. Ronald Jay Drescher


    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . What is not clear from your question is how much money you have for a car and how long it will take for you to save to buy one. If you will need years to save, I do not think it is realistic to believe that you will have the luxury of that much time to accumulate the cash to buy it. The repo people will find you before too long.

    Bankruptcy will help you buy a short period to keep the car, maybe 1-3 months, but you will need to be very transparent and open about your assets, so it may actually expose the car to repossession earlier than you expect. You really do need to see a lawyer about all this.

    I am happy to answer general questions about my practice areas on this website. . However as I'm sure you... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

30,993 answers this week

3,148 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

30,993 answers this week

3,148 attorneys answering