Do I have to pay for my car if I am thinking of filing for bankruptcy?

A car loan is what is called a "secured" debt. That means that you stand to lose it if you don't pay for it. While bankruptcy doesn't change that fact, it does give you options. In a bankruptcy, if you decide that you don't want your car anymore for whatever reason, you can choose to give it up and you walk away from the loan if you are filing a chapter 7. The car note is eliminated completely in the chapter 7  bankruptcy. Under normal circumstances without a bankruptcy, if you give your car back or allow it to be reposeessed, you can still be liable for some portion of the note. That is one of the cool things about chapter 7 bankruptcy - letting the car go means that the loan turns into an unsecured debt and you get to elimiate it. In a chapter 13, it works a little bit differently but there are still advantages to it if you don't want the car anymore.

If you want to KEEP your car, then you have to pay for it. Talk to your bankruptcy as there might be ways to change the payments for the car in bankruptcy. The bankruptcy laws are complex when it comes to vehicles and what you can do depends laregely on your situation and what will work best. If you are having a problem with getting out of a car loan and have been thinking about a bankruptcy, if you live in the Chicago area give us a call at O'Connor Cadiz Law to see how we may be able to help you. 

Carol O'Connor Cadiz
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Attorney & Owner at O'Connor Cadiz Law: Bankruptcy, Injury, Real Estate & Mediation