What’s a custodian? Get your car back in bankruptcy.

16 Dec What’s a custodian? Get your car back in bankruptcy.

You may be able to get your car back in bankruptcy even if it has been repossessed before you file your case.

That’s because the repo guy is a “custodian” under the Bankruptcy Code.

A “custodian” means:

  • receiver or trustee of any of the property of the debtor, not in bankruptcy
  • assignee under a general assignment for the benefit of the debtor’s creditors; or
  • anyone who’to takes charge of property of the debtor to enforce a lien against such property, to sell it for benefit of the debtor’s creditors.

So you see, the repo guy who took your car in the middle of the night is a “custodian” for the benefit of the finance company.

Why is this important to you? The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, covering Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana recently decided in Thompson v. GMAC that a creditor who repossessed a debtor’s car prior to a bankruptcy case but had not yet sold it was a “custodian”. This was vital to the debtor because under the Bankruptcy Code, a “custodian” must give back to the debtor, or the trustee as the case might be, any property which it may have in its possession on the day the case is filed.

If you’re thinking about filing a chapter 13 case or keeping your car in a reaffirmation agreement, you can claim that the creditor was acting like a custodian when it took back your car before your bankruptcy. Make your lawyer get it back.

Lakelaw helps people keep their cars in bankruptcy in Illinois and Wisconsin. Call us toll free at 1 866 LAKELAW (525-5359). And other fine attorneys on the Bankruptcy Law Network can help you in other parts of the country.

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