If your automobile is repossessed before you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the creditor will need to return the vehicle to you in most situations. In some Chapter 13 scenarios, a case is filed right after a repossession has taken place, and a debtor will need to have the asset returned to him or her so that it can be taken care of in the Chapter 13 plan.
Can a creditor continue to hold the collateral, or must it be turned over to the Chapter 13 debtor? One case is illustrative. In Thompson v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 566 F.3d 699 (7th Cir. 2009), a court was called upon to determine whether an asset lawfully seized pre-petition must be returned to the estate after debtor files for chapter 13 bankruptcy, and if so, whether the asset must be returned even without a showing by the debtor that he can adequately protect the creditor’s interest.