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I want to return a vehicle that was given a Chim order during my Bankruptcy, can I do this without any repercussions?

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During my Bankruptcy the judge ordered a Chim order on my car. Since then I have not re-affirmed the loan but have made timely payments in order to keep it. I want to return my car but don't know how to do it or if it will negatively impact me in some way. My lawyer said I could give the car back and there be no problem but she didn't elaborate or tell me if there was a time frame to do this (at the time I was keeping the car so the statement was made in passing). I have tried to reach her but have not heard back from her and need to do something. The Bankruptcy was completed 1 1/2 years ago and since then my financial situation has greatly improved, does this matter? I just don't need the vehicle or the payment.

In Maryland Chim order was determined by a district court case and allows a person to keep an item that was discharged in a Bankruptcy without re-affirming the debt as long as the creditor allows it and you pay your bill on time. In re Chim, 381 B.R. 191 (Bankr.D.Maryland 2008) which addresses the question: Can debtor keep keep property by making payments if reaffirmation submitted and rejected by court?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. I am not sure of what you are referring to by "chim" order. Usually, unless a reaffirmation agreement is timely filed with the court, then the debt is discharged if it was properly listed. I'd imagine if you were to stop paying on the car, they would send someone out to get the vehicle. This could take some time though. If they try to collect against you or threaten collections, you have your discharge order as a defense. Any attempt to collect that debt would violate your discharge, as well as, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Florida's Consumer Collection Practices Act. You should speak with your attorney so you can make sure everything was handled correctly in your bankruptcy and how best to proceed.

    Posting questions and receiving general answers does not substitute for consulting with a licensed attorney admitted to practice in the jurisdiction in which you live. The answer posted is intended for general education and in no way constitutes an attorney/client relationship. Please consult a competent attorney in your jurisdiction to fully discuss your situation.

  2. I've never heard of a Chim Order but if there is no reaffirmation filed with the court, then you should be able to return the car without issue. Contact the creditor and tell them you wish to return it.

  3. The general rule is that if you didn't reaffirm the debt or if the reaffirmation wasn't approved by the court, the debt is discharged and you may return the vehicle without penalty.

    A Chim order is also a mystery to me, I am assuming it refers to a local decision by a bankruptcy judge. Hope this perspective helps!

  4. A chim order refers to a 4th circuit opinion in which FMC repossessed a vehicle, while the debtor was current on payments, during the course of the chapter 7 case pursuant to the ipso facto clause of the retail installment contract.

    You can surrender the vehicle and not be liable for any deficiency.

  5. Yes. A Chim order allows you to keep the car as long as you are current on payments. The benefit is that you can give the car back without issues - just as you are seeking to do.

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