Is there a law that says I have to pay my loan off in full in order to get my car back?

UPDATED: Jun 20, 2011

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Is there a law that says I have to pay my loan off in full in order to get my car back?

Can I get my car back when it has become repoed without paying the full amount? payment? I want to pay just want is owed. Would filing bankruptcy help?

Asked on June 20, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, unless the loan or financing agreement specifically allows you to cure the default and get  your car back by paying the amount in full, you don't have an automatic right to do this; once you default and your car has been repossessed, the lender does not have to give you the right to redeem it, again, unless the agreement states they must. If it does, you'd have to pay whatever the agreement calls for. If they don't have to give you the right to redeem, you can certainly contact them, ask, and try to negotiate.

Second, while lender may choose to let you  get your car back by lpaying less than the full amount owed, they do *not* have to do this. The financing agreement requires you to pay the full amount per the agreement; they don't have to accept anything less than that.

Bankruptcy will not help you get the car back. Once the car has been repossessed, bankruptcy does not undo repossession. It can help prevent you from having to also pay yet more money to the lender, such as if you are sued for any remaining balance after the car is sold at a repossession sale or auction.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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