ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy – What Does It Mean to Surrender?

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee (Nashville, TN)

One of the most confusing elements in consumer bankruptcy practice is the effect of electing the option given in § 1325(a)(5)(C) or § 521(a)(2). Section 521(a)(2) requires every debtor to file a statement of intent that indicates whether the debtor intends to “surrender or retain” estate property which secured a debt. If the debtor intends to surrender the property, the automatic stay terminates and the creditor is free to pursue the surrendered asset. In a Chapter 7 case, § 727 permits a court . . .

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