Delinquent Car Payments

Bankruptcy can stop your car from being repossessed, and give you a fresh start on your car loan.


Delinquent car payments can leave you stranded without a car. Your lender can repossess your car any time you are late. And, they don’t have to give you any warning. Most lenders will tolerate some delinquent car payments. But don’t push your luck.

How soon your lender will repo depends on a number of things, such as:

  • Your payment history
  • Time left on your loan
  • Value of your vehicle

delinquent car paymentsYour lender knows you would pay up if you had the money. And that is precisely what worries them. Because you are late, they know you don’t have the money. And, banks don’t want to keep customers who are broke.


delinquent car paymentsLet’s say your car loan is just a few months old, and you’re already late. It stands to reason that your car will get repossessed sooner than it would if you already had several years of timely payments. When your car payments are late your lender will begin calling you. Don’t avoid them. Take their calls.

Offer your lender a definite payment schedule that you know you can stick to. And, it helps to have a sympathetic excuse to explain why you got behind. If you make promises you can’t keep, your lender may never trust you again.

Suppose you make an agreement to get caught up. Ask the loan rep to email you confirming the details. Misunderstandings during a phone call are common. Customers often think they have a deal when they really don’t.

When to see a bankruptcy lawyer about your delinquent car payments

See a bankruptcy lawyer immediately if you can’t reach an agreement. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer knows all the laws that may help you keep your car.

Bankruptcy StayThe filing of a bankruptcy case stops the repo man.

That’s because the United States Federal bankruptcy law says the filing of a bankruptcy case creates an immediate automatic stay against all creditors. The Stay requires all creditors to freeze in place. They must stop what they are doing to enforce every debt that you owe.

Consumers will generally be eligible for two different types of bankruptcy cases. These are Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 may give you the ability to force your lender to accept small deferred cash payments over a perid of several years to catch up your delinquent car payments. Chapter 13 may also eliminate debts like credit cards and personal loans if you can show that you can’t afford to pay them.

Chapter 7 can give you several months of breathing time to catch up your delinquent car payments. At the same time you can quit paying credit cards and other debts that were preventing you from staying current on your car payments.

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Finding a great bankruptcy lawyer

A great place to find a bankruptcy lawyer is on Avvo is a web site that grades lawyers, and gives them a numerical score from one to ten. That allows you to make comparisons between different lawyers. An Avvo “10” is a lawyer who has a perfect score. Avvo also lets clients post reviews about their lawyer. A “Five Star” average is the tops for client reviews.

Considering a bankruptcy lawyer to help you? See what former clients are saying about attorney Leon Bayer at Bayer, Wishman & Leotta. These REVIEWS are UNCENSORED (click link). Honestly, there are a few complainers, and we make no effort to hide them from you.
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Leon Bayer and Jeffrey Wishman are Los Angeles Bankruptcy attorneys. They have been practicing bankruptcy lawyers in Los Angeles for 37 years and are Certified Bankruptcy Specialists by the State Bar of California. These are lawyers who bring experience, skill and creativity to the highly complex area of bankruptcy law. At this Los Angeles law firm, the your initial consultation with an expert is free. Mr. Bayer is a coauthor of Nolo's The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You?, authors the “Ask Leon” series on Nolo’s Bankruptcy, Debt & Foreclosure blog, and writes on bankruptcy topics for Nolo’s website. In addition, Mr. Bayer devotes a significant number of hours to volunteer legal services. The State Bar of California has commended Mr. Bayer for this work every year since 2004.