Can a mechanic hold a vehicle that has been filed under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy if they are owed money?

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2011

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Can a mechanic hold a vehicle that has been filed under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy if they are owed money?

A mechanic is holding my vehicle hostage for repairs done to the vehicle. However, I filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in order to reaffirm payments on the vehicle, and the mechanics bill was filed under the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy as well. Does the mechanic have the legal right to continue to hold my vehicle hostage? I thought the mechanic had to give me the vehicle back the moment bankruptcy was filed.

Asked on August 2, 2011 Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When the bankruptcy petition was filed by you it sets the status quo of all disputes between you and your creditors. Under the laws of all states in this country, your mechanic has a statutory lien for work done on your vehicle where he or she is a priority creditor.

Until there is an order from the bankruptcy court ordering the mechanic to release your vehicle, the mechanic is entitled to retain possession of it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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