How Do I Get My Title Back from Title Loan Company After Bankruptcy?


Dear Steve,

We had a title loan at TitleMax on a 2005 Olds Alero. We filed bankruptcy & it was discharged. We need the title so we can get rid of the car.



Dear John,

First, let me be 100 percent clear, I am not an attorney. I can’t give you legal advice. You need to speak with a licensed attorney in your state for specific legal advice in your state. The best person to speak with is probably your bankruptcy attorney who is already familiar with your case.

What I can do is share the extent of my knowledge on this very interesting topic.

The problem with a title loan is you are handing over a security interest in an item of value to guarantee a loan. With a title loan, you are giving the lender the title (ownership) to a vehicle as collateral.

And that ownership, or pledging the vehicle as collateral is a problem if you have a title loan and file bankruptcy. I’m assuming you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy option is to redeem the car before the bankruptcy. Essentially you pay the lender back the current fair market value, in one payment, of the car and the balance of the loan may be eliminated in the bankruptcy. One place to get the market value of your car is at Kelley Blue Book. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy you can do the same thing but spread the value over the bankruptcy payments.

If you signed the title over to the lender, the lender has the ability to repossess the car if you fail to make the payments.

Disposing of the vehicle at this point would be unwise unless the title loan company is onboard with your plan or you can confirm the title loan company did not properly record their security interest in your vehicle. You can check on this by getting a duplicate title on the vehicle from your motor vehicle department to confirm their listing on the title.

See also  Cash Store Maybe Learns a Lesson. About Doing Bad Things

Since the car is pledged as collateral for the loan and you signed the title over to the title loan company, they are not required to hand you the title back.

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge eliminated the loan you had to pay but does not shift ownership of property back to someone else.

One option here would be to negotiate with the title loan company for some percentage of the loan balance to get the title to your car back. If they did everything right when they made the loan they can say no, repossess the car, or leave you in continued limbo with a car you don’t own.

One more option would be to negotiate with the title loan company to resume your regular payments and repay the loan to get the title back.

Be sure you don’t leave anything personal or of value in the car. It could vanish one day from repossession if this matter isn’t resolved.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

Do you have a question you'd like to ask me for free? Go ahead and click here.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

Follow Me
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
Steve Rhode
Follow Me
Latest posts by Steve Rhode (see all)
See also  Title Loan Lender Fast Auto Loans Sued in WV

4 thoughts on “How Do I Get My Title Back from Title Loan Company After Bankruptcy?”

  1. Hi, I recently found that the company Finova Financial that I got a title loan from has filed for bankruptcy. I tried calling them to make a payment but it goes to a busy or says that their closed. How can I get my car title back?

  2. My wife and I got fooled into the title max scam. The employee was talking and talking about dumb things like family, school and blah blah blah. This happened throughout the entire transaction. Then at the end of the transaction she tells us “ ok, this will be your monthly payment due each month on this day.” Never did she say we were only paying interest only and not paying off the actual loan. the pay off amount for the actual loan was about 112% which she mentioned on the date of first payment. Of course we didn’t have the 112% to pay off the loan so we are screwed paying interest only for about two years now. Can you give some advice, or do you think I just bought my own car for years to pay it off.

    bamboozeld EL Pasoan.


Leave a Comment