Skip to main content

What can I do to get response regarding lien release on my car title after Chapter 13 discharge?

Saint Louis, MO |

It has been several months since my capt 13 has been discharged . Loan company refused to release lien stating that money is still owed . My attorney discovered that the attorney's for loan company filed claim as a deficiency judgment by mistake as car was never repossessed and the suit they filed against me was dismissed before it went to court . My attorney said he would look into it but to date I've got nothing from him and that was after he told me to check back . Loan company keeps referring me to their attorneys and the attorneys supposedly told my attorney that they no longer represent loan company . I am at a loss as to what to do at this point and my attorney doesn't seem like he wants to put any effort into the matter at all because his job is done and he received his money .

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Oh boy, it sounds like the car lender was treated as an unsecured creditor & thus got less $$$ from the trustee than they would have IF they had been treated as a secured creditor. Your attorney should have noticed this early on when he received the list of FILED claims from the trustee. I would run this past another BK attorney, then consider filing a malpractice claim against your attorney's malpractice insurer. The Ch.13 $$$ has all been distributed, so it is too late to "amend" your bankruptcy, but you may get settlement $$$ from the insurer equal to the amount of $$$ the creditor should have gotten, minus the amount they actually got. Good luck.

Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

1 lawyer agrees

7 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you, he was suppose to have filed it as what is called a "cramdown" and they were suppose to get value on the car as it was worth when I filed. I'm not sure why he never noticed this either. He is very arrogant and of course admitted no responsibility. His suggestion was to just drive the car into the ground (it's old) until I can't drive it anymore, or to give the car back to the creditor! I told him it may not matter to you but it is my only vehicle and if I had money I would never have filed a chapter 13 in the first place. I'm just very confused at this point and probably will have to get another attorney as you suggested. Even if the car is old I don't want to get stuck with a car that one day may not be driveable and I can't do anything but store it because I can't get clear title to even salvage the dumb thing. Thank you for you answer. I will most definitely pursue that option.

Asker

Posted

Spoke to another attorney and he more or less told me that I was wasting his time and mine to even pursue anything and that my car is worth nothing so there is nothing I can do. He suggested I call my attorney and ask him why he didn't catch the mistake. And that I'm stuck with the car because I can't get title and that I can proably scrap it someday because he didn't think I needed a title for that. I'm a bit discouraged as he was even more rude and condescending as my own attorney. I'm beginning to wonder if all the bankruptcy attorney's in my state are just rude and unhelpful.

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber

Posted

Maybe it is time to call the MO Bar Association to find out who his malpractice insurance is with. You MAY have a claim there. Good luck.

Gary D. Bollinger

Gary D. Bollinger

Posted

Missouri law does not require proof of malpractice insurance for a lawyer to obtain a renewal of a license to practice law in MO. The MO Bar Association cannot be of any assistance.

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber

Posted

Interesting. In Oregon all attorneys have to buy malpractice insurance from the same "carrier," the Professional Liability Fund set up by the Bar. We all pay the same premium, which is about $3800 a year now.

Gary D. Bollinger

Gary D. Bollinger

Posted

I think the requirement of malpractice insurance as a condition of practicing law is trending. Illinois recently added, I think, a malpractice insurance requirement. (My IL license is currently inactive, so I am not quite sure). My malpractice premium usually runs about $1800- $2200 annually, but this is in a competitive, non-monopolist market in which the practice of Law is not much restricted beyond the maintenance of a valid license to practice Law. The requirement of malpractice insurance as a condition of practicing Law raises issues of free market capitalism versus monopoly and governmental regulation. (For example, the setting of insurance standardized premiums and a single "carrier" reduces or eliminates the availablity of carriers and competition, but arguably enhances the prospects of recovery for victims of legal malpractice, but at the cost of administrative overhead.)

Asker

Posted

Thank you, they got my phone number wrong, I will contact you if it is okay.. This is just a very stressful situation.

Posted

Diane has raised a good point, that your attorney could have fixed this if he had monitored the claims filed by creditor, and asked the attorneys for the car lender to amend their claim to a secured one. While your attorney may bear some responsibility for this mess, so too does the lender's attorney, for filing the claim incorrectly. they may have been provided incorrect information from the lender, resulting in the incorrect claim. You could talk to another bankruptcy attorney to review the situation, and see if a solution can be found. You may also want to talk to someone at the Ch 13 trustee's office, and see if they have any direction they can provide. This will all turn on the facts of the underlying claim filed, so start with seeing if the trustee can provide a copy for you to give to the next bankruptcy attorney to review. If the lender filed an improper claim, they may have to live with those consequences. God luck!

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree

2 comments

Gary D. Bollinger

Gary D. Bollinger

Posted

Attorney Darish wrote, "You may also want to talk to someone at the Ch 13 trustee's office, and see if they have any direction they can provide." Comment: It would be inappropriate of the chapter 13 bankruptcy Trustee's office to make any recommendations.

Asker

Posted

Thank you Mr. Darish for your kind response. I have talked to a couple of bankruptcy attorneys and they are unwilling to help me. Obviously becasue there is nothing to gain on their part fianancially. I'm not going to let this go because I feel like I shouldn't be penalized for something I didn't do and because I am not miss gottrocks I'm getting the cold shoulder. I will push on. I cannot afford to be stuck with a car that I can never sell, trade in etc, I did my part. And even if it doesn't get me anywhere I will file a bar complaint. At least he'll have to take a few hours of his time to answer it. That could be worth something.

Posted

What is the current market value of the car?

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

5 comments

Asker

Posted

I would say about 1,000.00 if that.

Gary D. Bollinger

Gary D. Bollinger

Posted

As you have learned, it hard to get a local bankruptcy attorney interested in pursuing litigation to remedy your failed cramdown & the false (fraudulent?) claim of the lender of a deficiency judgment when the asset in question has a low value. Part of the resistance is that no attorney has figured out how s/he can get paid and you would not want to put any significant upfront money for an attorney to pursue a unique litigation strategy. I regret that I have no additional substantive suggestion for how to proceed.

Asker

Posted

That's okay, If I have to I will proceed on my own. With a little research I'm sure I can do something through the bankruptcy court. I work in the court system and maybe I can get one of the attorneys to help me out for a nominal fee. It just saddens me that I was failed by an attorney who was paid to do a job and did it very poorly. If I did that in my job I would be let go. The car may not be worth much but it is mine and I shouldn't be penalized for something I didnt' do.

Gary D. Bollinger

Gary D. Bollinger

Posted

Yours would make a great pro bono case! Work that angle. I won't take your case, but if you do get an attorney, I'll take that attorney's call at no charge to anybody. Not much of an offer,I guess, but the price is right and I do know your case better than most...

Asker

Posted

Thank you !!

Bankruptcy and debt topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics