Vehicle Repossession In Wisconsin: What to Do?
Nov 22, 2021
Falling behind on your auto payments and the possibility of losing your vehicle can be overwhelming. No one plans to default on their vehicle loan payments, and it is hard to catch up once you have fallen behind. It is a difficult situation to be in because your options to save your vehicle from repossession are time sensitive. Here is what you need to know before your car gets repossessed and some different options you may have.
Contact Loan Holder
First, you should contact the bank or credit union that handles your auto loan. They may be willing to work with you on repaying the missed auto payments over a short period of time. If not, you could also talk with them about refinancing your auto loan. Typically, refinancing an auto loan is only a good idea if you can get a lower interest rate or a longer term to lessen the financial impact on your monthly budget. Regardless, it is important to review your options to avoid repossession.
Know Your Rights
In the State of Wisconsin, creditors must follow strict rules before they are able to repossess your vehicle. Knowing your rights are important.
• Your loan must be in default.
• Creditors must provide a notice of your right to cure the default.
• Creditors must wait 15 days from the date of the notice of right to cure default to repossess your vehicle.
• Creditors cannot breach the peace.
• Creditors cannot invade your privacy.
• Creditors must allow you 15 days to redeem the repossessed vehicle.
If you feel as though your rights have been violated, you should contact a Wisconsin Consumer Law Attorney. If you would like our office to make a recommendation, feel free to contact us.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stops Repossession
If you are not able to pay all the money at once to bring your auto payments current, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop repossession. A filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy stops repossession due to the protection of the automatic stay. The amount that you are behind on your auto loan gets repaid over a 3-to-5-year repayment plan. Not only do you have an extended period of time to pay your missed auto payments, but a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may be able to reduce the interest rate and even the total amount owed on your vehicle loan. Filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can even get a vehicle back after it has been repossessed. However, there is a very limited timeline.
Wipe Out Debt from Repossession
If lack of income or difficult circumstances prevent you from saving your car from repossession, you may also be struggling with other debts. Unfortunately, most lenders won’t just take your car when you are unable to pay your loan; they will also come after you for money. They can sue you in court and get a money judgment for the amount owed on the loan after the sale, storage fees and other costs. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can wipe out money judgments and other unsecured debts. If the creditor garnishes your wages to collect on the debt, a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can stop the garnishment once your bankruptcy is filed.
When you don’t know the different options you have, it is difficult to make an informed decision. At Pedersen Law Office, LLC we offer free consultations to discuss your specific circumstances and find the right debt relief option for you. Our law office serves the communities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Oshkosh, Green Bay and their surrounding areas.