Lets see how Jennifer’s car gets repossessed at Wal-Mart. So, Jennifer just got off work and picked up her kids from daycare. She’s out of food so she pulls into the local Wal-Mart in Grand Prairie. As she’s looking for a parking spot, she notices a blue Chevy Tahoe with a crazy bumper sticker that reads: “I’m only speeding because I really have to poop.”, which makes her laugh out loud. She decides to park in the spot right next to the Tahoe. Then she grabs her kids and heads in to the Wal-Mart. Sixty minutes later, Jennifer barrels out of the Wal-mart with $150 worth of groceries and kids in tow.

She sees the blue Chevy Tahoe and walk towards it, as pulls up past the Tahoe, she doesn’t see her car but an empty parking spot. Jennifer checks the back of the Tahoe for the crazy bumper-sticker. It’s there. “Yup, this is the Tahoe.”  Jennifer begins to retrace her steps. First thing she wonders is if someone stole her car. She remembers that her kids left the iPad they were playing with in the back of the car. Jennifer calls 911 to report her car stolen. The 911 operator asks her if she has called the finance company. “That’s a strange response from a 911 operator”, she thought.

But that’s when it dawned on her: she was a month late on her car payments. Jennifer then called the finance company to see if the car has been repossessed. She calls Santander and they confirm that DJ’s Towing and Recovery just picked up her car. “Now what?”, she asks herself.

She’s got $150 worth of groceries in a shopping car with no car to put the groceries in. After the panic subsides, Jennifer calls her boyfriend, but he doesn’t answer. She sends him a text mentioning about her car getting repossessed, still nothing. Next, she calls her parents, who don’t answer either. Then, Jennifer calls her sister. Fortunately, her sister, Barbara, answers the call. Embarrassed, Jennifer explains to her sister Barbara what happened. Her car just got repossessed and she needs Barbara to come pick her up and take her home. Her sister agrees. Jennifer calls her boyfriend again. He still doesn’t answer and he hasn’t bothered to answer her first text either.

Thirty five minutes later, Barbara, her sister, arrives. Jennifer’s never been so happy to see her in her life. They put the kids and the groceries in Barbara’s car and drive back to her home. In all the chaos, she calls Santander and asks them how much she has to pay to get her car payment. $2,094 they tell her. $672 for the late car payment, $672 for next month’s car payment, a $450 administrative fee, and a $300 towing fee. Oh, and DJ’s Towing impound lot charges $29 a day. She doesn’t have $2,094.

Jennifer calls DJ Towing to see about getting her personal stuff out of the car. DJ’s Towing tells her that there is a $127 fee to get stuff out of her own car. How can they charge such an outrageous price for her own stuff? It doesn’t seem right.

Jennifer is getting all depressed due to her car getting repossessed. She doesn’t have her car back. Her parents give her one good piece of advice: they suggest she calls a bankruptcy attorney so the finance company doesn’t come after her for the shortfall of what she owes on the car.

The next day Jennifer reluctantly calls a bankruptcy attorney and sets up an appointment for 5 PM. She doesn’t think anything will come of the meeting. She doesn’t even want to file bankruptcy. Much to her surprise, she learns that she can still get her car back. Jennifer can either pay the $2,094 ransom up to 10 days according to Texas law, or find another way to get the car back. Fortunately, she finds out that she get the car back through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. What’s even better is she learns that what she paid for the car would actually go down in the bankruptcy. Relieved, Jennifer calls her parents and tells them her plans. Jennifer begins to think that the long nightmare may be over.

Eric Engel

by Eric Engel

Eric Engel is a Dallas divorce attorney for clients in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. He is the president of Engel Law Firm. For more information on Mr. Engel please visit his bio page or contact our firm at (214) 377-0166.

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