Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop or prevent the repossession of personal property like a car. The automatic stay has the same effect regarding repossession of personal property as it does with a pending foreclosure against real estate. The automatic stay prevents or halts the creditor from repossessing its collateral.
If repossession of a vehicle occurs before bankruptcy is filed, the Bankruptcy Code will not allow you to get your vehicle back. Unlike a home foreclosure, which must be judicially approved by a state court, Florida law allows a creditor with a lien on a vehicle to pursue “self-help” repossession, as long as it can be accomplished without breaching the peace. Once the vehicle is repossessed, Florida Statutes provide for transfer of ownership to the creditor by operation of law. Although the debtor still has a right to redeem the vehicle before the creditor sells it, the debtor will only get the vehicle back and reinstate the loan if the creditor agrees to do so.