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Vehicle Repossession Case Examples

Actual clients that Cherney Law Firm has helped

  • In one of my cases, a  single mother of four, Latoya, called me in tears because her car was repossessed in the middle of the night.  In Georgia, public transportation is extremely limited, and reliable transportation is essential.  Latoya desperately needed her vehicle to get to work and provide for her family.  I filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy for Latoya.  I ensured that Latoya got her vehicle back.  Not only did I get Latoya’s vehicle back, but I was able to lower her monthly payments.  Latoya now pays $350.00 less per month for all of her debts, including her vehicle, and she will only be making payments for 36 months.  If you contact Cherney Law Firm, I may be able to lower your monthly payments on everything, including your vehicle.

 

  • A client came to me because he received a threatening letter and phone call from his vehicle lender.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was 2.5 months behind on his vehicle payment.  His vehicle payment was $575.00 per month and his interest rate was 16%.  I filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy for him, which prevented the vehicle lender from repossessing his vehicle.  I was also able to reduce his interest rate to 5.5%, and stretch his payments out an additional 2 years.  This resulted in a monthly savings of $175.00 per month.  The late fees and accrued finance charges were rolled into his monthly payment.  His monthly payment is far more affordable given his reduced income.  If you contact Cherney Law Firm, I can prevent a vehicle lender from repossession your vehicle, whatever your circumstances.  We can potentially lower your interest rate and your monthly payments. 

 

  • An elderly couple came to see me.  They were struggling to make payments on two vehicles.  The husband had unforeseen medical expenses and his medical bills were piling up.  They were in a monthly payment plan with the hospital, anesthesiologist and radiologist.  The monthly medical payments limited their ability to maintain payments on their vehicles.  One of their vehicles was 3 years old.  As a result, I was able to reduce the principal amount owed to the vehicle lender, reduce the interest rate owed to the vehicle lender, and pay the balance back over 5 years instead of 3 years.  This resulted in a savings of nearly $275.00 per month on that vehicle.  The other vehicle had a very high interest rate, which I was able to reduce to 5.75% percent.  All in all, they paid $575.00 less per month.  This included all of their medical bills and their credit cards.  If you contact Cherney Law Firm, I can put together a plan that can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per month.

 

  • A client named Mark called me. He said that he read all of my reviews online, and was hoping I could help him. Mark’s car had been repossessed the previous weekend. After a week of debating what he should do, he decided to call me for a free consultation. Of course, I was expecting that Mark would want me to get his car back for him. It turns out, Mark was concerned about the deficiency amount he might owe the vehicle lender as a result of the vehicle repossession. Mark stilled owed almost $20,000 on his vehicle loan and he knew the car was worth $9700.00 at best. He knew that if the vehicle sold for anything less than he owed when the lender sold it at auction, he would owe the difference (deficiency amount). Mark not only could not afford this, he cringed at the fact he would still have to pay for a vehicle that he no longer even owned.  I was able to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy for Mark. We eliminated what would have been an $8500.00 deficiency balance on the repossessed vehicle. Mark also had over $10,000 in credit card debt accumulated after he was furloughed from his job because of COVID-19. Now Mark is 100% debt free and looking to the future. If your vehicle has been repossessed and you want to discuss your options regarding your deficiency balance, contact Cherney Law Firm for a free consultation.

 

If your vehicle has been repossessed, or you have fallen behind on vehicle payments, time is of the essence to take action.  Contact Cherney Law Firm today at  (770) 485-4290.  You can also fill out our online form at the side of this page and I will contact you.

Oftentimes, delinquent car payments is a symptom of a greater financial struggle. I can help you with your debt, but not unless you reach out for help.  I offer FREE Consultations. 

With your free consultation, I will explain how I can help.  I will advise you of your options and it will cost you absolutely nothing.

 

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      A Quick Overview of the Bankruptcy Process

      A Quick Overview of the Bankruptcy Process


      Before you file for bankruptcy, you probably have some questions about the process. There are many laws and guidelines you need to follow, but there is still a basic format for filing. In this article, we will cover the steps of the bankruptcy process to give you a better understanding of what it looks like. If you want to learn more, our Georgia bankruptcy attorneys are here to help.

      Credit Counseling

      Due to the 2005 Bankruptcy Act, before individuals file for bankruptcy in Georgia, they need to receive credit counseling from a government-approved organization within the six months prior to filing. This rule applies whether you file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. After filing, you must also complete a financial management instructional course.

      Read more on: The differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

      The Means Test

      When you file for bankruptcy, you may choose Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, depending on your financial situation. The means test calculates your ability to pay back your debts based on your income and necessary expenditures. The court will look at your finances and compare them to the median income for Georgia. If your income is less than the median, you qualify to file under Chapter 7. If your income is higher, you may only have the option of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, even if you qualify for Chapter 7, you may choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you have secured property that you wish to keep in the process.

      Paperwork

      When filing, you will need to acquire any relevant financial information such as income sources, large financial transactions within the last two years, living expenses, debts, and property. Keep your tax returns for the previous two years, property deeds, car titles, and loan paperwork on hand.

      Filing for Bankruptcy

      When you file, either you or your attorney will file a petition and other required forms with your Georgia district bankruptcy court. In these forms, you explain your financial situation and transactions within the last few years. It is important to mention all aspects of your financial status. Any withheld information can jeopardize your petition for debt relief.

      If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, be aware that you must also submit a proposed repayment plan. A bankruptcy judge either confirms or denies your proposal at a hearing later on. You will need to attend this hearing.

      Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy carries a fee of $306. If the fee is not waived, you can pay it in installments. However, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy fee of $281 cannot be waived.

      Trustee Appointment

      Once you file, an automatic stay goes into effect. Creditors may no longer have direct contact with you, and foreclosure proceedings will halt. The court then appoints a trustee to your case to review your paperwork and ensure creditors are paid accordingly.

      Meeting of Creditors

      About a month after filing, the trustee will hold a meeting of creditors. The debtor is required to attend as well. The meeting allows creditors to question or object to the proposed plan.

      The Power of The Automatic Stay

      About Automatic Stay


      One of the most important aspects of bankruptcy filing is the automatic stay. We will explore how the automatic stay works for you, as well as the creditors’ option to submit a motion for relief from stay.

      How Does the Automatic Stay Work?

      As soon as you file for bankruptcy, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the automatic stay goes into effect. The automatic stay keeps creditors from collecting debts during your case. When you or your attorney files, you will include a list of your creditors. These creditors will receive a copy of the automatic stay, which prevents them from taking any debt collection actions against you, such as:

      • Calling you
      • Sending letters
      • Foreclosing your home
      • Suing you for a debt
      • Filing a garnishment on your earnings
      • Continuing a lawsuit
      • Collecting on a judgment

      The purpose of the automatic stay is to give you some financial relief while you develop a plan for your finances and repayment. It also benefits creditors who might not receive anything because another creditor collects all the assets first. The bankruptcy process attempts to divide payment fairly amongst creditors.

      While the automatic stay provides you some much-needed breathing room, creditors still have options. They may ask the court to lift the automatic stay so they can continue collecting. The next part will cover what this means for you.

      What is a Motion for Relief from Stay?

      Sometimes creditors will motion for relief from stay. Not every creditor will file a motion. Most will be willing to receive payment from the bankruptcy plan. It is also up to the creditor to provide a credible reason for lifting the stay.

      Secured Creditors

      Secured creditors may try to lift the stay so they can collect on collateral. For example, when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the mortgage lender may ask the court to lift the stay if you are behind on your payments. By lifting the stay they can continue the foreclosure proceedings. Since you must either pay or return the property under the secured debt, the court will probably lift the stay if you cannot keep up with the payments.

      However, the court may deny the motion for relief from stay if the debtor can show the ability to repay the loan with the asset’s equity. By doing so, the debtor demonstrates that the lender is sufficiently protected from financial loss.
      Even when a motion comes forward, there is no reason to fight it if you have no intention of keeping the asset.

      Unsecured Creditors

      It is unlikely that an unsecured creditor will ask to lift the stay. If your Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not discharge a debt, a creditor can motion to lift the stay. However, since Chapter 7 cases usually last only a few months, most creditors are willing to wait until the end of the case to start collecting again.

      In the case of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, according to the debtor’s three to five-year plan, unsecured creditors receive repayment for debts that are not discharged. Since they will receive partial or full payment, creditors have little reason to ask for relief from stay.

      Statute of Limitations on Debt in Georgia

      Georgia Debt Statute of Limitations

      In the State of Georgia, there are debt collection laws in place to protect the debtor from it’s creditors.  One of the laws is called a statute of limitations, and it determines how long a creditor can pursue with legal action towards a debt.

      Usually, when a creditor  is not being paid, they can and will file to have a judgment against the debtor in a court of law. If successful, the creditor can legally have that debt collected though wage garnishment, bank garnishment or have liens placed against their property.

      The main reason that Georgia, along with other states have a statute of limitations on debt is to provide a”reasonable” time period for debt collectors to bring a civil judgment against the debtor. In most cases. the statute of limitations on debt starts the date of the last payment made by the debtor.  This is very important because many times a debt collector or collection agency will try to get the debtor to pay a small amount towards their debt, and if successful, the statute of limitations starts all over again.

      Breach of Contract

      In Georgia, when a debt collector files a suit against the debtor, they are actually filing a “breach of contract”.  The debt collector is the plaintiff and the debtor is the defendant. The defendant needs to be properly served and aware that there is a breach of contract suit filed against them. There will be a court date and when the defendant or debtor appears in court, they will have a chance to prove to the court why they believe they no longer owe that debt. Many times it is because the statute of limitations has run out. If the defendant cannot make a case to the court why they shouldn’t have to pay the debt, or like in many cases, the defendant does not show up for the court appearance, the plaintiff will win their breach of contract suit against the debtor and the court will award them a judgment. Once the judgment is made the debt collector can:

      Garnish Wages

      If the debtor is employed the debt collector can have the debtors wages garnished for up to 25%

      Garnish Bank Account

      The debt collector will legally be able to take the full amount of money owed from the debtors checking or savings account

      Record a Writs of Fieri Facias  (Fi FA)

      in the state of Georgia a Fi Fa, or Writs of Fieri Facias is when the debt collector records a lien against the judgment debtors property. it can also be used to seize the debtors personal assets.  When the debtor goes to sell their property and there is a Fi Fa lien, the debtor will not be able to transfer ownership to another person until it is paid.

      Written Contracts – 6 Years

      The statute of limitations for written contracts in the state of Georgia is 6 years.

      Credit Cards

      Although it may seem that a credit card would be an oral contract, the state of Georgia considers it a written contract. The moment you use your credit card for a purchase,

      Open Accounts

      An open account is an account that is open and being utilized by the individual. These include accounts such as credit cards, company sponsored charge accounts, etc. Courts in Las Vegas and Reno have determined that in Nevada this statute of limitation is four years; however, some courts may apply a six-year statute of limitations because these accounts are opened with written contracts.

      Medical Bills

      GA Debt Collection Laws

      Georgia Fair Debt Collection Laws

      Georgia Debt Collection agency laws

      How long does a judgment last in georgia

      Statute of Limitations on student loans in Georgia

      Credit Card Judgment in Georgia

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