Q: If I’ve already filed Chapter 13, isn’t it illegal for them to repossess my vehicle while it’s under bankruptcy protect?
At the moment a bankruptcy case is filed, the automatic stay is triggered. The stay prohibits all creditors from taking any action against you or your property to collect a dischargeable debt.
If a secured creditor, e.g., the holder of a lien on a vehicle, wants to repossess, it must first file a Motion with the bankruptcy court to get relief from the stay in order to repo and proceed to a sale of the collateral.
If the creditor has not first gotten relief from stay to repossess your vehicle, it may well be liable to you by way of sanctions imposed by the bankruptcy court for contempt, i.e., violation of the automatic stay, as well as being required to return the vehicle to you.
Your bankruptcy lawyer should be advised of the repo immediately, and assist you to pursue sanctions against the creditor.
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