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Bankruptcy Lift of Stay. Can one include in a bankruptcy petition a vehicle that has not been registered under his or her name?

Schaumburg, IL |

I repossessed a car from the bankruptcy applicant because there was a default on deferred downpayment and she failed to maintain full insurance coverage. Her DL is believed to have been suspended. I did not register her initially as the owner of this vehicle because I wanted to see if she could make payments. I planned to register her when her temporary plate expires. Now she filed for bankruptcy and I am required to return the vehicle to her. Question #1: Can she claim this car on her bankruptcy petition and Question #2: Can I request an automatic Lift of stay?
Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3


The answer to both of your questions is yes. She can claim the vehicle. You can file a motion to lift the stay. This circumstance results from a recent court case changing the requirements for debtors to obtain a return of the vehicle. The Debtor can get the car back and then lose it again. Tread carefully, you do not want the hassle of a stay violation.


Question 1: Yes. This is listed in the bankruptcy at a minimum as a repossession within 1 year of filing bankruptcy. There are rules as to when you have to give the car back. I would seek an attorney.

Question 2: You only have to lift the stay if you did not repossess the asset prior to bankruptcy. You had possession at the time of filing. This would only be an issue if the car goes back into the estate.

An attorney will help a lot with your confusion.

Jim Webster

1845 S. Dobson Rd. Ste 201
Mesa, AZ 85202

(480) 464-4667

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

If you live in Arizona, please contact me for actual advice; this is just speculation. It certainly is not legal advice. I don't have enough information to give actual legal advice. I can only take the limited information presented and provide a idea of what you might do and how it may turn out.


You can request an automatic lift to the stay. However, you will need to hire a bankruptcy attorney to assist you. It is not clear from your question who was in possession of the vehicle at the time the debtor filed for bankruptcy. Good luck!



I had to return the car to her after she filed bankruptcy. Do I have a good ground for this?