Monday, December 26, 2011
Are you thinking for filing a bankruptcy? What happens to your car?
No one likes to think they might have to declare personal bankruptcy, but if it happens to you, there are things you should know about keeping or acquiring a car.
Thinking for Filing a Bankruptcy?
Keeping a car
If you own your car outright, you can keep it if its fair market value is $5,650 or less. If it’s worth more than that, the bankruptcy trustee is required to sell off the vehicle. The Ontario Executions Act permits a bankrupt to keep one personal-use vehicle as long as its value is under $5,650.
If you bought your vehicle with a loan or on a lease, you have two options when you file for bankruptcy (or for a proposal). 1. You can keep the car, and continue making your loan payments on it; 2. You can give up the car, and anything that is owed to the lender after the car is sold will be included in the proposal or bankruptcy.
Acquiring a car
What about getting a car loan after you’ve filed for bankruptcy? This is by no means a slam-dunk, but it can be done. To find a car loan while in bankruptcy, you can try your bank. It might offer you a loan on condition that you agree to the direct deposit of your pay cheques. There are also Ontario auto loan companies that do financing for bad-credit consumers.
Here are some tips on how to get the financing you need:
● Have a look at your credit profile, and see how you can make it more positive. You have the right to correct any misinformation or to add a note explaining your circumstances.
● A car loan company may give you approval, but you can expect the interest rate on a bad-credit loan to be higher than the best-customer rate, since consumers in bankruptcy are regarded as high-risk borrowers. In these circumstances, be sure to calculate how much of a monthly payment you can afford. When approaching the car loan company, have a monthly payment range clearly in mind. And be realistic about what you can afford!
● Shop around. Make sure your lender is reporting to the credit bureaus regularly. You will be repairing your credit and elevating your credit score. Also, make sure your monthly payments are fixed, not variable. Payday loan outlets are not reliable in this regard.
● You may have to make a down payment, and no matter how much your take-home pay is, you will likely only be approved for a loan under $15,000. If you’re eyeing a car that’s pricier than that, you’ll need to make a bigger down payment.
● Once you’ve been approved for a bankruptcy car loan, consider eventual refinancing. By making all your payments on time, you could qualify for lower interest rates even after a year.
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