How to Request Your Vehicle Title in Alabama After you have Paid Off the Lien

request vehicle titleMost Americans who own a car have some sort of lien on the vehicle – either you bought it on credit or you got a title loan against it at some point. If you have filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your bankruptcy plan deals with these vehicle loans. Your plan dictates how these debts are treated in bankruptcy, and after the court confirms the plan, that is the law between you and the bank that has title to the vehicle. Once you have completed your bankruptcy payments, you have paid off your vehicle, whether or not the payment terms were the same as those originally offered by the bank.

When your discharge is entered by the court, the bank is SUPPOSED to send you your title. But sometimes they don’t. So what do you do?

The first thing you do is send them a written Title Request. It need not be complicated. Here is an example:

“To Whom it May Concern:

I write to request the title to my vehicle. I successfully completed my Chapter 13 plan (S.D. Ala. Case No. 06-12000), and on March 26, 2012, his debts were discharged –including all of his debts to you.

This debt was a note secured by a 1995 Buick Skylark. The lien was fully satisfied through the plan, but I have yet to receive my certificate of title. Ala. Code §32-20-44 requires that you provide me with the certificate of title to the vehicle, or if you do not possess the certificate of title, that you provide me a full release of the lien within ten (10) days of your receipt of this letter. Failure to do so is a Class B misdemeanor. You were served with a copy of the discharge notice months ago, yet still have not delivered the title.

I hereby demand that you release the lien and mail the title certificate to me. If I do not receive the title certificate within the time period required by law, I will initiate court proceedings to compel delivery of the certificate and recover attorneys’ fees. You may send the title to our address above. If you have questions regarding this matter, I am at your service.


Donnie Debtor.”

As the letter says, if they don’t send you the title or respond in 10 days, you can take them to court for it. If you are having trouble getting a creditor to respond to your title request, let us know.