I did a voluntary surrender on my car
Even if You Turned in Your Vehicle You Are Still Responsible for the Balance
A Voluntary Surrender is Still a Repossession in Georgia
Surrendering your car with a volunteer repossession in Georgia is an option if you know that you can no longer afford the payments. It can save you a lot of hassle vs having your car repossessed. It also can reduce some stress but besides that there are still negative impacts:
Voluntary Surrender’s Impact on Your Credit Report
Handing over your keys will still have a negative impact on your credit report because you will have defaulted on your loan contract with your lender. It is slightly better because it will appear on your credit report as a “voluntary surrender” rather than a “repossession” but it will will stay on your credit report for 7 years.
Even though you have surrendered your car, it does not mean that you do not still owe money on it. After your lender has received your vehicle they will sell it at an auction. If the car does not sell for the amount still owed on your loan, the lender can sue you for the difference, this is called the deficiency amount.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Wipe Out the Deficiency Balance on the Car Repossession
In bankruptcy, your car loan deficiency receives the same treatment as your other general unsecured debts. This means that a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge can eliminate your liability for and obligation to pay back a car loan deficiency. In addition, the moment you file your case the automatic stay requires your lender to stop all collection activities (including its lawsuit) against you.
However, if your lender has already obtained a judgment and placed a lien on any of your other property (such as your house), you will need to file a special motion to remove that lien in your bankruptcy.
If you have already turned your car in and now the creditor is trying to collect on the balance you can file Chapter 7 in order to wipe out the balance. You still have to qualify for Chapter 7 so you need to meet with a Georgia bankruptcy lawyer in order to see what your options are.