I'm 4 months behind in payments because I lost my job 34 months ago and I'm literally broke. However, thanks to a friend's help, I'm still making a token $50 payment per month. I sent them a letter explaining my situation and telling them that I intend to continue paying them as soon as I get a new job. They have not asked for my car back, but the repo tow truck has already been asking questions to my friends and family trying to find my car. Someone said it's a FELONY to hide the car; someone else I know hid his car for 2 and a half years until he found a job and continued making payments. Am I getting in trouble with the law? CAN THEY ARREST ME? Do they have to notify me that they want my car back? I can't ask any lawyers because I really have zero money. Would BANKRUPTCY help? Thanks!!!
Bankruptcy would not help if you have no income from which to pay car payments. If you had an income and filed for bankruptcy it might allow you to keep the car and make payments but that is not a guarantee. It is a crime in Texas to hinder a creditor seeking to take possession of its collateral. If you are 4 months behind then the creditor is not required to demand its collateral. It can just take it. But, it cannot commit a trespass on your property to take it. Your $50/month payments are a waste of money. You are still in default.
DISCLAIMER: This is not specific legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.
Unfortunately if you don't have regular income (either a job, disability, social security, regular contributions from family members) then bankruptcy will not help save your car. You would need to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay the behind payments over time and Chapter 13 requires steady income.
If you wanted to voluntarily give up the car in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, that would prevent the lender from going after you for any deficiency on the loan after the car is returned. I know that isn't the option you are looking for but it could help you get a fresh start when you are able to find another job. Good luck!
I am licensed only in Texas and not your attorney; my answer to your question includes assumptions and is not intended to be legal advice in your state.
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