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Hypothetically, Let's take the case of a debtor filing Ch 13 bankruptcy, with, say 25 thousand in debts secured with a car title, and 25 thousand in unsecured debts.

Let's say he's planning to pay 100 percent of the debts over a 5 year bankruptcy.

After paying the attorney fees first, let's say somewhere a little past mid-way through the bankruptcy, the secured debts have been paid. And the debtor is now starting to pay (via the trustee) the unsecured debts.

When will the title of the car be released as paid? And/Or can the debtor sell it as soon as it's paid?

Also what would happen if the debtor decided to stop paying on it at that time, after the secured debts are paid but not all of the unsecured debts are paid? Does the secured debt still remain paid and is the debtor entitled to the title of the car? Or will more have to be paid to get that title?

--EDIT: To narrow the question down a bit, I'm not concerned with what happens when the BK is taken to completion; the court rules on that and it's done with. I'm also not concerned if the debtor can sell the car while in BK, since it's possible the car's value was split or 'crammed-down' because it may not have been worth the entire amount owed at time of filing.

But I am only concerned with what happens if the BK is dismissed after the secured amounts are paid.

My first guess is that if the car was split with a portion of it put into secured and another part was crammed down into unsecured is that the bank could then go and demand the unsecured amount before releasing the title since the BK is no longer in effect.

But my second guess is that the bank could also go back and demand late fees, penalties, etc. as long as they were provided for in the original contract.

Those two things are really what I was wondering about.

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    These are good questions that come up quite frequently because Chapter 13 payment plans are often not completed successfully. But, they are also deceptively simple questions as the conceptual framework in which these questions are answered in a Chapter 13 is not very intuitive. I would have to research this to answer it, but perhaps others know off hand. I think I know the answer, but I'm not confident that I am correct and I wouldn't want to say something misleading. – ohwilleke Feb 2 '17 at 4:34

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