Can Your Auto Creditor Disable Your Automobile?

Posted on Feb 25, 2014 By Amy K. Tanner

Attorney Amy TannerThe short answer to this question is NO. Once you file any form of bankruptcy, the automatic stay takes effect. It is a clear violation of the automatic stay for a creditor to activate a car shut off device after the filing of a bankruptcy.

The Car Shut Off Device

I was first introduced to the car shut off device about twelve years ago. I had been practicing bankruptcy law and stopping repossessions for several years by then and must admit that my first reaction when a client explained they had one of these devices was that the lien holder was using this as a scare tactic and that there was no such device. I later learned much more about these devices. These devices are installed on a vehicle, usually on autos purchased through a secondary lender or a buy here, pay here car lot. These devices are installed to enable the lien holder to shut off the automobile if the purchaser fails to make a payment. Some of these devices are set on a timer and are timed to shut the car off automatically if you have not gone in to make a car payment and have the device reset.

If you have one of these devices on your car, it is imperative that you inform your bankruptcy attorney about this device. Your attorney will need to contact the lien holder upon the filing of your case with the bankruptcy court to have them disable the device. There are several ways to disable the device and some devices do require that you take your auto back to the dealer to have the device reprogrammed or removed after you file your bankruptcy.

If you are facing a repossession or having any financial difficulties I invite you to contact one of our offices nearest you and let us try to help relieve the stress of your current financial situation