If you have fallen behind on bills and plan to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may still be planning to keep your vehicle under the Oregon motor vehicle exemption. However, a creditor may have other plans. Before the car is repossessed, here are some things to know, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
As long as you have not missed any payments, the contract with the creditor is still valid, and the company cannot come and take the car. If you are behind, the creditor may be willing to work out a deal that allows you to catch up on late payments, or make them on a different date than is on the original contract. In this situation, you should get the new conditions in writing.
If a creditor has a court order and a contract that gives the company security interest in the vehicle, he or she has the right to take your car. However, any items inside must be returned to you, and if they are sold or taken while the creditor has possession of the vehicle, you may be eligible for compensation for the loss.
When there is no court order, the creditor may still repossess the vehicle if it is in the street, but cannot enter your home to get it. If there is any use of force or destruction of property, the creditor could be sued for damages. This information about repossession may help you understand your rights, but it is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.