What if I don't have my car title?

This post is meant to be a supplement to "What information do you need to prepare a bankruptcy case?"


A copy of your car title is required to be provided to the Court when you file for bankruptcy. Sometimes, a client will indicate they do not have a title to their vehicle and the "bank" or someone else has it since they still owe money. You are STILL required to have paperwork on your vehicle for a bankruptcy case. Let's look at the different scenarios.


Title States - Michigan is a "title state". This means that if you purchased the vehicles in Michigan, you will receive a title to the vehicle, even if you owe money on it. The title itself will show that there is a secured lien against the vehicle if you took out a vehicle loan to purchase it. If you do NOT have a copy of your title and you purchased the vehicle in Michigan, you first need to determine if the vehicle was actually a lease. You can do this by looking at your purchase paperwork. Orbit is a common lessor of vehicles. If your vehicle IS a purchase, you can contact the dealership to see if they retained the title for some reason, but you more than likely will need to request a copy of your title from the Secretary of State here.


Lien States - If you purchased your vehicle OUTSIDE the State of Michigan, it is possible you purchased the vehicle in a lien state. In these states, the lender holds the title of the vehicle until you've paid it in full. If this is the case, you will need to provide a copy of your purchase paperwork to the court for your bankruptcy case.




Attorney Allison Greenlee Korr handles bankruptcy cases in the Western District of Michigan, call today for a consultation.269-381-4471