Q: A car is being held at a bodyshop because the insurance company filed bankruptcy, when can the car be released?
Can the bodyshop charge the car owner for any balance after the court settles the bankruptcy?
A: In Florida a garageman has a lien on the property for the value of the repairs. It is called a "possessory lien" because it lasts as long as he retains possession, but disappears if he releases.
If you wait on the court, the car may age out and become an antique!. Your best bet if you can afford to do it is to pay for your car to get it out of hock and file a claim with the court. Doing nothing will accomplish nothing. You must be proactive. Claims against the bankrupt estate can be made online, but you do need a paid receipt from the garage to show you have paid it to attach as an exhibit.
You can fill out a paper claim. The form is downloadable. And then you file it with the clerk's office where the bankruptcy is pending.
If all this is befuddling, then you need a lawyer. Good Luck
A: You asked two questions:
1) The car can be released when the amount owed the body shop has been paid, either by the owner of the car or the insurance company.
2) Yes, the owner has to pay the full amount due, and would be subrogated (with the right to file a claim in the bankruptcy case) for the amount, if any, not discharged in bankruptcy.
It is extremely unusual for an insurance company to file for bankruptcy protection, so you might want to consult with a bankruptcy attorney; there might be details of bankruptcy law which pertain to insurance companies of which I am not aware.
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