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Bankruptcy Law/Ch 13 completed 4 years ago anf lien


QUESTION: I completed my Chapter 13 almost 4 years ago. Included in the Chapter 13 was a vehicle, which I received a lien release after completion. There was also an atv included in bankruptcy. It had a lien on it and I never received a release. I still have the atv and I'm guessing it still has a lien on it. Can they still repo it? Should I call them and ask them about the lien? I don't want to hang onto it forever just because of a lien. I am almost sure the creditor for the atv was listed as a unsecured creditor. Thanks.

My state is Kentucky.

ANSWER: If the lien was never dealt with in the Chapter 13 (no payments made on it), then it should still be in existence.  But you didn't tell me what sort of lien it was -- a personal property lien given to the creditor because of a loan with respect to the ATV?  Or a judgment lien or something else like that?

You also didn't say how many years you were in Chapter 13.  But assuming that the Chapter 13 was at least three year years, then the lien must be at least 7-8 years old, and the holder has done nothing (?)  The likelihood is that it will continue to do nothing, then.

If you want to give up the ATV, then inquire of the lienholder.  If you want to hold onto the ATV, then probably do nothing.  

Normally, liens have a specific term of existence and can disappear if that time frame elapses.

Did you have an attorney for the Chapter 13?  Also, perhaps there was a provision in the plan for the ATV.  Normally, if the creditor on the ATV was listed incorrectly as an unsecured creditor, it would have objected to the plan or moved for relief from stay to gets its collateral.  The fact that it did nothing means that it is likely that this will continue.

I hope that helps.

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QUESTION: My chapter 13 lasted 5 years and the lien was put on at the time of purchase. It was actually a revolving account, not an installment loan. The account was turned over to a collection agency before I filed. The account was listed as unsecured, like any credit cards. There was no mention to the atv in the chapter 13 plan. I believe I paid back 30-40%.

I'm wondering if I call them about getting the lien taken off, if they try to repo it. Thanks.

I wouldn't contact them unless they tried to repo the ATV.  If they do, then try to work out a deal with them, if they want the ATV.  They cannot go after you personally as the debt is discharged as to you (but not as to any secured property, assuming that the lien is still valid, which it probably isn't.  You can check if they try to act).

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Michael T. Hertz


I am already listed as a volunteer under "Collections Law," but actually I am a bankruptcy lawyer. I am a member of bar in California and in Massachusetts and have practiced in bankruptcy since 1978 and have also taught bankruptcy law at the law school level (in Maine and Oregon). I can answers questions with respect to all bankruptcy chapters, having represented creditors, debtors, trustees, creditors committees, and persons involved in defending actions in bankruptcy court.


See above. Basically, 33 years of experience.

inactive member of State Bar of California; inactive member of bar in Massachusetts; former member of bar in Maine; former conseil juridique in France.

California Bankruptcy Law Review; Georgetown Law Journal; numerous others. See my resume.

Harvard Law School, J.D.; Pomona College, B.A.

Awards and Honors
Superlawyer in Northern California, 2005 and 2006

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