obtain car title after bankruptcyIf you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, chances are good that your lawyer either was able to reduce your interest rate, lower the balance of the car loan if the car was old enough to qualify, or both.  Now that your bankruptcy is over, how do you get your title from the finance company?

It should be simple, but it isn’t always the case. You didn’t pay the full sum due under the original contract, and the Chapter 13 trustee was taking your Plan payments and distributing the funds to the car company. After bankruptcy, the loan bounces from one department to another in search of a home.

And after bankruptcy, you’re simply in search of your car title. Here are the five simple steps I recommend for my clients.

  1. Get hold of a copy of the Proof of Claim filed by the car lender in your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. This will show the balance due on the car as of the date of the bankruptcy filing.
  2. Obtain copies of the Chapter 13 Plan and Confirmation Order. These documents, when taken together, will show the amount you proposed to pay as well as the judge’s Order that those payments were sufficient.
  3. Fetch copies of all motions filed in your bankruptcy case in connection with the car. That includes any motions made to reduce the interest rate, the loan balance, and motions made by the lender to lift the automatic stay. These will prove that your payment stream was backed by logic and the balance due on the loan.
  4. Obtain a copy of the Trustee’s claims register. This shows how much the trustee paid out during the bankruptcy.
  5. Get a copy of the bankruptcy discharge. This document proves that you made your Plan payments and the case ended satisfactorily.

The bankruptcy court doesn’t have your car title.  Neither does the Chapter 13 trustee.  Most of the time, your lawyer doesn’t have it either – unless the car company sent it to him or her after bankruptcy.

You need to contact the lender directly to get your car title after bankruptcy.  If they give you any hassles, go through the above five steps and provide the lender with all the information they need to prove you’re entitled to your car title.

And if all else fails, call your lawyer.

Image credit:  Chris Devers