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Eugene Bankruptcy Law Blog

Can a lender sue me after repossessing my car?

According to, more than six million Americans are currently delinquent on their car loans, which is a new record-high since the 2008 recession. Banks are more willing to take on risk since the economy has recovered, but many more Americans are also at risk of losing their vehicles to repossession. Therefore, people who are currently paying loans on their vehicles should be aware of the actions lenders can take against delinquencies.

Lenders can repossess a vehicle, and then sue the owner for the remaining balance

Car owners are probably well aware that a lender can repossess a vehicle, but the consequences of delinquency may not stop there. Because vehicles depreciate in value quickly, the lender's resale value of the car may not cover the balance on the loan. Therefore, a lender could sue the borrower for the remaining amount through a process known as "car deficiency." 

Exploring bankruptcy when credit cards fuel one's everyday life

There are numerous circumstances in which individuals in Oregon and across the nation might find themselves facing insurmountable debt. Financial hardships can be exceedingly burdensome, and in some cases, may be challenging to overcome. Those who are constantly struggling with monetary issues could benefit from exploring the available options for relief, such as bankruptcy.

Recent studies suggest that personal debt across the country has reached record highs. According to the study, there are a great deal of contributing factors to similar financial issues, ranging anywhere from credit card debt to car loans. While these avenues of credit may seem appealing at the time, should one fall behind on payments, the results can be catastrophic.

Seeking out the facts when considering bankruptcy in Oregon

Many individuals in Oregon and elsewhere have dealt with the overwhelming stress of debt at some in point in life. While in some cases, these troublesome circumstances may only be temporary, in others, a more long-term solution might be necessary. However, those who are in need of debt relief may sometimes attempt to steer clear of bankruptcy due to certain misconceptions about the process.

Perhaps one of the most significant concerns of those who consider bankruptcy involves the liquidation of assets. While Chapter 7 does call for the liquidation of certain assets, this doesn't necessarily mean all of them, and a person may be able to retain many or most of his or her possessions throughout this period. Alternatively, this may also be true for debts, as not all debts are eligible for discharge.

Are investment accounts protected during Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Many individuals in Oregon and across the country have sought out options for debt relief during extended periods of financial struggle. Those who wish to explore Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a viable solution may have concerns about certain aspects of the process, such as the liquidation of assets. While one's first thought may go straight to personal assets such as a car, it might be beneficial to consider the potential impact bankruptcy may have on investments and retirement accounts.

Perhaps one of the most common retirement accounts is a 401(k). These accounts are generally protected from creditors during bankruptcy, unless a debt is owed to the IRS. In some cases, the IRS could place a levy on future disbursements from a 401(k), which can accrue interest over time, even if a person isn't old enough to withdraw funds.

Beware of post filing collection attempts

Anyone who files for bankruptcy protection expects that the bothersome creditor calls and letters will stop. After all, that is the primary benefit of the automatic stay. Most creditors follow the law and cease any further collection efforts. However, there are some who claim to be ignorant of any bankruptcy filings and continue to press debtors into paying up.

Once a debtor files a bankruptcy petition, the automatic stay prohibits any and all collection efforts. If a creditor attempts to collect on a debt listed in the debtor’s schedules, the action violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 

Secured debt and unsecured debt defined

If you are considering filing bankruptcy, you are probably concerned about what types of debt you may be entitled to eliminate, as well as how much debt you can make disappear. This is a common and legitimate concern. After all, if you are saddled with just as much debt after bankruptcy than before it, or if your standard of living is markedly worse than before bankruptcy, perhaps it may not the best option for you.

Part of the help that you would need in deciding whether to seek bankruptcy protection is understanding the different types of debt and how they are classified under the bankruptcy code. Essentially, there are two categories: “secured debts” and “unsecured debts.”

Tips for rebuilding your credit

The transition into adulthood is both exciting and scary. There are a lot of new responsibilities. You completed school and went out to start your career. You moved into your own residence. You have a car to maintain and groceries to purchase. You are ready to take your life to the next step. In order to do this, you want a secure future for you and your family.

Unfortunately, you’ve acquired some debt. School, cars, homes and all the expenses that coincide with them are expensive. You want to manage your debt and improve your credit so that you can better prepare for the future.

Determining if consumer bankruptcy is the correct path for relief

Many individuals in Oregon and elsewhere have experienced periods of significant financial difficulties throughout life. Dealing with overwhelming debt can often be stressful and challenging, prompting many to seek advice in overcoming it. When considering the available options, one might wish to know if consumer bankruptcy is the correct path for his or her current predicament.

There are numerous factors to consider that may influence the decision to file for bankruptcy. Perhaps one of the first steps is to find out how it will impact a person's assets, and which debts will be eligible for discharge. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may call for the liquidation of certain assets, such as a home, while wiping out many of a person's debts in the process, often including those pertaining to credit cards and extensive medical expenses.

Do I have to reaffirm my mortgage?

After you declare bankruptcy in Oregon, you still have to have a place to live, and the costs of moving may be considerable, particularly with the soaring rent prices and lack of rental homes available in many portions of the state. That does not necessarily mean you want to remain tied to your mortgage and your home forever, though. With some time to put money back after your debts are discharged, you may be looking forward to finding a new place that suits your needs better.

The good news, according to, is that you may be able to stay in your home indefinitely without retaining the obligation of your mortgage. This generally will only apply to you if you are not currently in the process of foreclosure, and you have not fallen behind in your payments. You must also continue to make your monthly payment on time. If you can meet these requirements, your lender will not foreclose on you and auction off the house.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy: benefits and basics

A person in Oregon who has fallen behind on payments or is struggling to meet all financial obligations may find a solution through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. According to the Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, this type of bankruptcy typically allows people to keep their homes, and even some of the equity they have accumulated. Individual retirement accounts are also generally safe, and cars. Keeping these three major assets in place while paying off some debts and having others discharged make this reorganization plan appealing to many.

Taxes, student loans and child support are not usually dischargeable. The United States Courts explains that these are considered priority claims, and must be paid in full through the plan. Secured claims are tied to assets, such as a vehicle, and the debtor cannot pay less than the value of the item. Although a mortgage payment is a secured claim, the amount included in the repayment plan is typically only the amount that the debtor is behind. He or she must still make the regular mortgage payments, as well.

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The Law Office of Kim Covington

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1445 Willamette Street, Suite 9
Eugene, OR 97401

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1135 Dale Street SE, Suite #B
Albany, OR 97321

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1701 West Harvard, Suite 201
Roseburg, OR 97470

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Phone: 541-393-2790
Toll Free: 800-673-1891
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