Bankruptcy in Florida: Yes, you can surrender your car in Chapter 13.

08 Oct Bankruptcy in Florida: Yes, you can surrender your car in Chapter 13.

Recently, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Alexander L. Paskay, issued his opinion in In Re Vanduyn, in which he agreed with a majority of bankruptcy courts around the United States in stating that the debtor can surrender his automobile, purchased within 910 days of the date of filing for Chapter 13 relief, in full satisfaction of the obligation without worrying about adverse creditor claims.

The interesting part of this case is how the issue came before the Court.  Rather than the secured creditor objecting to confirmation of the plan, the issue came before the Court when the Debtor objected to the secured creditor’s proof of claim.  The secured creditor filed a bifurcated claim seeking to reserve for itself an opportunity to share in the distribution with the allowed unsecured claims.  After noting this issue, Judge Paskay, delves right into the heart of this issue.  He reviewed the minority side of the issue and looked at the recent opinion of the 7th Circuit in In Re Wright.  Judge Paskay argued that the reasoning in In Re Wright is unpersuasive.  He did agree with the majority of Courts in deciding that debtors can surrender their cars in full satisfaction of the debt pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code.

Ultimately for Judge Paskay, the issue came down to the plain language of the Bankruptcy Code.  In his opinion, the code, as amended by BAPCPA, allows debtors to surrender their motor vehicles in full satisfaction of the debt.

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Carmen Dellutri is a proud member of the Florida Bar, and he is a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney, Certified by the American Board of Certification. He practices in the areas of Consumer Bankruptcy and Plaintiff's Personal Injury. He is the principal attorney at The Dellutri Law Group, P.A. The firm supports many charitable and civic causes by donating time and much needed capital to our community. Mr. Dellutri and the other attorneys in the firm routinely speak to students of all ages about various legal and societal issues.
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