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Employees allegedly steal vintage car during foreclosure process

An East Coast man had been storing his vintage muscle car in the garage at his late mother's home. In March, he went to the garage to take his 1973 Dodge Charger for a ride, but the car was gone. The home was in foreclosure at the time, but the Charger did not disappear for financial reasons. No repo man came to take the car-but a company working for the bank that held the home mortgage may have been involved, according to news reports.

Bank of America was in the process of foreclosing on the home where the car had been parked. The man contacted the bank when his car went missing, but he did not find his car from that contact. It turns out that neighbors saw the car being taken away.

Thieves had stolen the Charger. Before taking the car, someone obtained temporary tags for the license plates. That happened the day before the car went missing. Later, the car was fully registered in a different state on the East Coast, leaving a traceable paper trail.

Eventually, law enforcement caught up with the people accused of stealing the muscle car. Two people were recently arrested. The car thieves worked for a home services company that BofA hired to go through the home during the foreclosure process.

The man has his car back, but he says that it was damaged during the time it was missing.

Obviously, the story is not the usual foreclosure story. And the disappearance of the car is a far cry from any lawful repossession. However, many people who have struggled with bills over the years feel at a loss when foreclosure proceedings or repossessions start to occur.

A bankruptcy petition cannot stop thieves. However, filing for bankruptcy can stop creditors from continuing to collect on a debt, at least temporarily. A creditor must cease all efforts to collect, including through foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment and more when a bankruptcy petition is filed in court. Collection activities can only be resumed with the permission of the court, under specified circumstances.

A Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyer can assist Ohio residents in understanding how bankruptcy may be able to protect assets in an individual situation.

Source: CBS Boston, "Police: Foreclosure Service Crews Stole Vintage Muscle Car," Aug. 2, 2012

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