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Struggling With Car Payments While Managing a Family

What to do when you have filed for bankruptcy recently.

I need to downsize my spending. Due to a divorce and filing bankruptcy, I was left in a bad situation. I needed a car and purchased one with a high interest rate. Due to the rising cost in the economy, my money is being stretched beyond breaking points. It has come to the choice of providing basic necessities for my family or paying a large car payment on a small car. I'm paying double what this car is worth. It was OK at first because I thought this was a needed. Well, this need is causing me to be one toe from being put out of my home. I am a single mother with 3 children. I can't make it the way things are. I have been considering a voluntary repossession. I know the consequences behind this. However, the car is financed through CPS and they are very rude and will not consider working with me. I understand because I did file bankruptcy once. What can I do?

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Bill's Answer
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When you surrender a car to the creditor, it will auction the car usually for less than the balance of your loan. This is called a deficiency balance. Read your loan documents to see what you agreed to regarding a deficiency balance. In most states, you are responsible for any deficiency balance resulting from repossession.

What can you do about this? If you had purchased this car before the bankruptcy, it might be possible for your bankruptcy attorney to ask the court to reopen your case and add the car loan to the bankruptcy. However, if you purchased the car after your bankruptcy, I believe it would be all but impossible to add this to the bankruptcy. However, I am not your attorney, and this is a question you should ask him or her. To read more information about bankruptcy visit the Bankruptcy page.

On a similar note, I do not believe that filing a new bankruptcy petition will be available to you, given that you filed a little more than a year ago. Bankruptcy is designed to be rare event, and not an annual subscription. However, if you were beset by an unexpected calamity the court may allow you to file a second bankruptcy after such a brief period. Again, that's a question for your attorney to ponder.

For the sake of argument, let us assume you cannot file for bankruptcy again. What do you do with the deficiency balance? Talk to the creditor (CPS) and work out a payment plan. They may make intimidating statements that frighten you. Arm yourself with strategies and tactics to level the playing field by understanding debt negotiation techniques. Here's a good article to get you started: Debt Negotiation and Settlement

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn. Save.



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  • MM
    Jul, 2010
    Thank you for your advice.
    0 Votes