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Stephens v. Guaranteed Auto

Case Conclusion Date: 07.03.2013

Practice Area: Litigation

Outcome: Creditor ordered to pay $23774 in damages and attorney fees to Debtor for willful violation of the automatic stay.

Description: Judgement for Debtor/Plaintiff. Creditor repossessed debtor's car prior to the filing of the petition, refused to return it, and sold it. Court awarded actual damages of $1,559, attorney's fees of $4,325, and punitive damages of $17,890. Court observed that creditor who repossesses car prior to bankruptcy filing cannot condition the turnover of the vehicle on the provision of adequate protection, such as proof of insurance, unless the creditor moves promptly for relief in the bankruptcy court.

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