Car Loans – Bad Credit – No Problem

If you are looking for car loans with bad credit, it may be no problem. Most people do not believe you can get car loans with bad credit but this is not always the case. There are several dealerships or auto consultants who specialize in getting car loans for people with bad credit.

If you are in the need for a car loan and have bad credit here are some tidbits that may be helpful to you.

Since not every dealership offers special financing you may want to start by doing a little homework. You can do a search on line for local dealerships or auto consultants who have special finance departments. Another route may be to ask friends and family if they have had a similar need for car loans with bad credit.

The key is to find a car dealership or auto consultant who truly cares about you and your situation. There are some salespeople out there that may consider special financing a troublesome situation and these may be the people you want to avoid.

Look for a salesperson that treats you with respect and shows enthusiasm toward finding you a car loan despite your bad credit. Let’s face it, bad credit is already stressful to those that carry a low credit score. There is no need to further the agony as you search for a car loan under bad credit circumstances.

Furthermore, a car loan may be the perfect answer to helping you improve your credit score. By securing a loan for a car and faithfully making the loan payments on time every month, you can begin the climb toward raising your credit score.

By utilizing a car loan through a trusted dealership or auto consultant you can create a win/win situation. In addition to improving your credit rating, you will get a set of trustworthy wheels to take you around town.

This leads to the next tidbit – a trustworthy car. Many establishments that offer car loans to those with bad credit have a nice inventory of late model cars with lower mileage. A quality special finance department will have the car inspected for the engine’s performance along with a safety inspection to assure you have a quality car that is safe for your family.

When you go to shop for a quality car loan with bad credit, bring the necessary paperwork with you, this will help you to get pre-approved. You will need a current driver’s license and proof of insurance. In addition, you will need a couple of your check stubs for proof of income. You may be asked to provide proof of residency with a utility bill and your cell phone bill. This will help you in getting pre-approved.

Being pre-approved will allow the special finance person to begin looking for your perfect car loan despite your bad credit.

Can I Get A Car Loan After Bankruptcy?

In our business we often have clients ask us, “Can I get a car loan after a bankruptcy?” It seems that we have more and more people asking this same question now days. The answer to that question is yes, you usually can get a car loan after a bankruptcy.

It all depends on your personal circumstances. Every person and their bankruptcy is different and needs to be approached that way.

Due to the increasing demand, there are many lenders who will offer a subprime car loan to help those who are in need begin to rewrite their financial history. In fact, securing a car loan after a bankruptcy is a great way to begin the ascent toward a higher credit score.

Let’s investigate a couple solutions to help you answer yes to the question “Can I get a car loan after bankruptcy?”

Begin by locating a couple different subprime lenders through local dealerships. Because not all dealers offer special financing, ask this up front when you call the dealership. The following tips can help you speed up the process of getting a car loan.

Prepare For Your Visit

After an interview I conducted with an auto consultant that specializes in helping people find car loans after bankruptcy, I learned it could be helpful to prepare for your visit. Nancy explained to me that getting pre-qualified can help her tailor-fit an auto loan to a person’s specific car-buying-DNA.

Nancy suggested to collect the following pieces of information before taking a trip to the dealership.

*Proof of Identity – Bring a current state issued driver’s license.

*Proof of Income – Bring a couple of your most recent pay stubs.

*Proof of Insurance – Bring with you your current insurance card.

*Proof of Residency – Bring a couple utility bills in your name with your current address on them.

Take A Visit To The Dealership

Now, you are prepared for your appointment. Go meet with the expert auto consultant, present your information and begin a discussion on the type of car you are looking for. An added bonus working with an auto consultant is that because they care about your specific needs, they will do all they can to find a car that suits you. This is better than being given a choice of having only three cars to choose from.

Consider a newer model car that has lower miles. A slightly used car can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars by avoiding the immediate depreciation that comes with new cars.

Ask to see a history report on the vehicle. You want to see a Carfax or AutoCheck report to see if there were any previous problems with the vehicle. Next ask to see a safety inspection report to ensure the vehicle is safe for you and your family.
Being prepared and working with someone who is an expert can help you answer, yes to the question, “Can I get a car loan?”

Auto Repossession Before Bankruptcy

The other day I received a call where an individual asked me whether filing bankruptcy would allow for a car that has been repossessed to be returned. Although my response probably failed to satisfy the caller (the usual attorney response of it depends), here is what is required in California (at least how the courts have viewed the law).

Background

In most vehicle contracts the lender retains a right to repossess a vehicle if the borrower fails to make the scheduled payments. With many contracts, this repossession can be done outside of any court proceedings.

However, once an individual files for bankruptcy many of the rules change. For one, an automatic stay is implemented. This stay prevents most actions against the debtor (individual that files for bankruptcy). Specifically, the automatic stay strictly prohibits any lawsuit or repossession against a debtor that is delinquent on car loan payments. Any repossession after a bankruptcy petition is filed constitutes a violation of the automatic stay, with the repossession void and of no effect. In that case, the lender would be immediately required to return the vehicle to the debtor.

Effect of Bankruptcy on Prepetition Repossession

Section 542 of the Bankruptcy Code requires that entities in possession of “property of the bankruptcy estate” are generally required to turn the property over to either the trustee (in Chapter 7) or the debtor (in Chapter 13). This big sticking point then for this turnover requirement is determining what is “property of the estate.”

Section 541 of the Bankruptcy Code defines property of the estate. This definition includes “all legal or equitable interests of the debtor in possession as of the commencement of the case.” Basically this definition states that whatever rights the debtor has at the commencement of the case continue in bankruptcy. As for the vehicle that has been repossessed, the court has to discover what rights a debtor had when the bankruptcy case was filed.

These rights are determine by state law (California State law). Under the California Civil Code (section 2983.2), a debtor has the right to redeem a repossessed vehicle up until the date the car is sold by the repossessing lender.

Two recent cases have come to different conclusions as to whether turnover of the vehicle is required upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition. First, in a case from the Southern District of California (In re: Fitch, 1998), the bankruptcy court held that while a repossessed car is property of the estate, the right to possess the car was transferred to the lender prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition. The court interpreted the statutes to mean that the automatic stay freezes the positions of the debtor and creditors. Thus, the lender had the right to maintain possession. The court did state that a vehicle could be returned to a debtor upon the debtor’s giving of adequate protection. In most cases adequate protection means the establishing of proof of insurance and proof that the debtor will be able to make the regular payments on the car.

In the Northern District of California (In re: Cortez, 2010), the Bankruptcy Court interpreted the Bankruptcy Code, and specifically the section on the automatic stay, to mean that a “knowing retention of estate property violates… the automatic stay.” Because a debtor has the right to redeem until the date of a sale by the lender, the vehicle remains part of the estate, and subject to turnover. In this case, the debtor provided adequate protection to the secured creditor. However, the court seemed to say that it was not necessary for turnover.

What to do?

If your car has been repossessed, and you want to make sure you retain possession, bankruptcy may be a solution if you are not able to pay the balance before a lender’s sale. However, while the Northern District seemed to state that adequate assurance is not necessary for turnover, it will ultimately be necessary to avoid a lender’s motion for relief from the automatic stay. Be prepared to show (a) insurance, (b) regular and sufficient income, and (c) an ability to pay for the vehicle.

When Gap Car Insurance Isn’t Necessary

Gap auto insurance, in case you didn’t know, picks up the tab if your car is totaled and you owe more than it’s worth. Although gap insurance coverage can be purchased for as little as $30 a year it isn’t always necessary.

One instance is if you pay cash for your new car; if you don’t have an unpaid loan balance, there is no financing gap to worry about.

However, paid for or not, a new car will still depreciate at the same rate. In this case you might want to look at New Car Replacement Insurance.

New car replacement insurance is offered by a number of carriers for different lengths of time. Some insurers offer replacement insurance for only a month while others, such as Allstate, offer a plan where “you may be able to get a totally new car” if totaled in the first three model years.

A second instance when you would not need gap insurance is if you put at least 20% down. In most cases if you put 20% down the rate at which the car loan is paid down should track pretty close to the depreciated value of your car.

Another situation where you might not need gap protection is if you lease a new or used car. In many states, such as New York, gap insurance is mandated by law to be included in the quoted lease payment amount.

Yet despite this there are unscrupulous sales people who will try to sell you gap insurance anyway – and it won’t come cheap. The gap insurance sold by car dealerships today is a high profit add on much like upholstery protection or under carriage coating was years ago.

The average one time payment for gap insurance purchased from a car dealer averages around $548. This is almost 5 times more than it would cost if purchased from a major insurance carrier for as long as you needed it.

The last example illustrates why you would need gap insurance, but for only a short period of time.

The recent loosening of bank purse strings has also meant lower car financing rates for both new and used cars. As a matter of fact the rates are very similar. At these new low rates the outstanding loan balance and depreciated car value quickly reach parity – usually within two years.

However, that first year of car ownership is still a killer for car values. For instance, if you borrowed $40,000 for 60 months at 6% with zero down, 20% of the loan would be paid in the first year but your car would have depreciated 25%. This would leave you owing roughly $2,500 more than the insurance company would pay out if your car was totaled during the first year of ownership.

But, as previously mentioned, during the second year of ownership the value or your car and the loan balance would even out. So although you won’t be able to eliminate the purchase of gap insurance entirely, you would only need it for the first year of ownership.