Repossession Lawyers in Texas
Our Repossession Attorneys Can Help You Keep Your Property
- Stop repossession
- Get help reducing and settling your debt
- Get rid of or restructure your debt through bankruptcy
Navigate Through Repossession With Our Experienced Attorneys
Falling behind on car payments or other types of secured loans can lead to your property being repossessed by creditors. Dealing with financial issues and debt can be overwhelming, but it’s important to know your rights and understand that you can take action to stop property repossession. At Leinart Law Firm, our repo lawyers can help you find debt relief options that enable you to keep your property. We fight for your rights and provide the legal counsel and services you need to get your finances back on track.
The Repossession Process and Texas Law
When creditors begin seizing your property and belongings, you have a small window of time to recover them or halt repossession. Our repossession lawyers can help you find options, assist you with the process in a timely manner and ensure you meet all necessary requirements under Texas repossession law.
The Texas Business & Commerce Code states that a creditor is entitled to use self-help repossession but can only seize properties and belongings that are put up as collateral. In the case of auto repossession, the car itself is used as collateral. In Texas, creditors may repossess property without notifying you, filing a lawsuit or getting a court order to authorize repossession.
Although repossession agents are allowed to enter onto your property when repossessing a vehicle, they cannot threaten, demean or physically harm you in any way. If they do, it is considered a disturbance of the peace, which is a criminal offense in Texas. If you’re having financial difficulties and know you’ll be unable to make payments, it’s a good idea to speak to a debt relief lawyer before creditors move to repossess your property.
Options to Halt Repossession
Our team at Leinart Law Firm understands that property and automobile repossession is incredibly stressful and can have a serious impact on your daily life. There are a few options available to address your debts and prevent your belongings from being repossessed. Our experienced repossession attorneys understand these processes inside and out. We can help you keep your possessions and develop a comprehensive plan that may enable you to discharge other debts and get back on solid financial ground.
Make Up Late Car Payments
Just because you’re late in making payments, it doesn’t mean your loan immediately goes into default. A lawyer for car repossession can take a look at your contract and find out what determines a late payment vs. default. These terms vary by contract, so it’s vital to thoroughly read any contract before signing it. Calling the lender and trying to work out a plan to make up late payments may enable you to keep your vehicle, although you’ll have to remit all back payments and late fees at once.
Reinstate the Loan
In some cases, a loan may be reinstated, which can prevent repossession or allow you to get your vehicle back if it’s already been repossessed by a creditor. For a loan to be reinstated, you must be current with all payments, including late fees.
Refinance the Loan
A creditor may let you refinance your loan for a longer term, or you may be able to find another institution to refinance it. Although this may be a viable option in the short term, it can lead to long-term issues if you’re having financial trouble.
If you’re unable to make payments or refinance the loan, bankruptcy may be a good option to stop repossession or retrieve an already repossessed car. Our bankruptcy attorneys in Dallas and Fort Worth can assess your specific circumstances and advise you on the most effective course of action to get your finances in order.
How Does Bankruptcy Stop Repossession?
When you file for bankruptcy, an “automatic stay” is put on your debts. This means that all collection activity against you or your property must be stopped, even if a creditor has already sent out the repo tow truck. Even if your bankruptcy is filed after repossession, you can typically get your vehicle back. Timing is critical, so contacting a bankruptcy lawyer right away is essential to protecting your property.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Also known as a “straight bankruptcy,” Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stop a repossession, however this is not the best course of action if you wish to keep your vehicle. Once the repossession is halted, you must choose whether you want to keep your vehicle or surrender it. When making this decision, it’s important to consider your ability to afford payments and all of the ongoing costs related to vehicle ownership.
If you opt to keep the vehicle, you will likely need to fully catch up on late payments within a month or two after the bankruptcy filing. Most creditors will not give you more time. If you want to keep your vehicle, you may be required to sign a reaffirmation agreement, which excludes the car loan from the discharge of your other debts. By law, the reaffirmation agreement must be filed before the court order discharging all your debts is entered. This generally happens about three months after your bankruptcy case is filed. Most creditors require you to be current on your loan before the reaffirmation agreement is prepared and filed with the court.
What If I Decide to Surrender My Vehicle After Repossession?
Although losing your vehicle can be distressing, it may be the best option depending on your case. Surrendering your vehicle in Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives you some advantages such as:
- There are no more monthly loan or insurance payments.
- You don’t have to come up with a lump sum of money to pay the accrued late payments, late fees and other possible charges.
- Chapter 7 discharges any “deficiency balance,” which is the amount you would owe after the creditor sells the vehicle and applies the proceeds to the balance.
Can I Keep My Vehicle If I File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
If you wish to keep your vehicle, a Chapter 13 filing gives you some of advantages over Chapter 7, such as:
- Missed payments are rolled into a 3- to 5-year payment plan instead of having to come up with all back payments in 1-2 months.
- If your loan is more than 2.5 years old, you can do a “cram down,” which is a rewrite of the loan that decreases the balance owed to the fair market value of the vehicle. You may also be able to get a lower interest rate and/or stretch out the payments for a longer term, which usually results in a significantly reduced monthly payment.
- Instead of three months in a Chapter 7, the “automatic stay” can potentially be 3-5 years, which is generally the length of a Chapter 13 repayment plan. It’s vital to keep up your end of the bargain during this period because the creditor can ask for permission to repossess if you aren’t paying according to the plan.
- Chapter 13 gives you the flexibility to surrender your vehicle later if circumstances change.
How Can a Dallas Repossession Attorney Help?
At Leinart Law Firm, we care about our clients. Our debt attorneys and bankruptcy lawyers have years of experience helping clients successfully halt repossession in Texas. Our knowledgeable, caring team is here to help you repair your financial woes and give you a fresh start. Our attorneys offer free initial consultations, and we’re happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.
Contact Our Repossession Attorneys in Dallas & Fort Worth
To learn more about options for dealing with repossession, schedule an initial consultation with a debt relief lawyer today. Please fill out the contact form on our website, email us or call 469-232-3328 in Dallas/Plano or 817-426-3328 in Fort Worth. We’re proud to serve clients throughout North Texas as well.