How Bankruptcy Can Help Get Your Repossessed Items Back

Filing for bankruptcy immediately stops creditors from trying to collect debts from you. This protection from creditors can give you some much-needed relief while you work to sort out your financial situation. Unfortunately, if you have hit a financial rough patch you may have already lost some items to repossession prior to filing for bankruptcy, and you may be wondering if you can get them back.

Returning a Repossessed Car

Filing for bankruptcy can prevent the repossession of a car. However, if your vehicle has already been repossessed you may still have recourse for its return by filing for bankruptcy within 10 calendar days of the repossession. If your vehicle is still in the possession of a creditor after it is repossessed, you may be able to compel the creditor to return it.

The commencement of any bankruptcy case creates a bankruptcy estate.

According to U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the bankruptcy estate contains “all legal and equitable interests of the debtor in property, wherever located or by whomever held, as of the commencement of the case.” Therefore, if your car has not been sold by the creditor who repossessed it, you may be able to get it back as it is technically still part of your estate. However, filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy after your car has been repossessed does not guarantee that you will be able to retrieve it.

Returning Other Property

In the case of United States v. Whiting Pools, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that U.S. Code Title 11 § 542(a) is purposefully broad and requires turnover of all property of the estate that may be leased or sold. Furthermore, all seized property, in which the debtor still has an interest, is also considered to be property of the estate by the Supreme Court. Just as above, if your property has been repossessed, but not sold, you may be able to compel your creditors to return it to you since it is still part of the bankruptcy estate.

Get Help From an Experienced Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney

Even the most fiscally responsible people can experience financial hardship. Medical bills, unemployment, and natural disasters can result in financial instability. If you are under severe financial burden in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, and St. Paul area, call Martin and Hedervare PLLC at (651) 243-2974 or contact us online today.

Marie Martin
About the Author: Marie Martin
Marie F. Martin is an experienced bankruptcy attorney serving the Twin City area. She represents Minnesota families in bankruptcy court, and has handled thousands of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases from beginning to end.