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Virginia Bankruptcy

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05

Jul 2011

After bankruptcy: USAA may cancel your car insurance

Posted by / in Virginia Bankruptcy / 47 comments

When you file bankruptcy, most banks don’t take it personally.  USAA does.

If you file bankruptcy on USAA, they will cancel your car insurance.

So if you file bankruptcy on a debt to USAA, they may cancel your membership.  (The small print on their website tells you that you are not really a member of anything.)

Although they are a bank, USAA acts like a credit union.  (You can file bankruptcy an a credit card with Citibank, for example, and still bank with them.  But if you file bankruptcy on a credit card with a credit union, they will close all your accounts and fire you as a customer.)

Eligibility to have their car insurance is limited to service members, veterans and their families.  If you default on, or file bankruptcy on, one of their loans, they can send you a letter notifying you they will cancel your insurance.

People I know who bank or have insurance with USAA, really love them.  So losing that relationship because of bankruptcy, can be emotional.

On the other hand, the world is full of banks.  And there are plenty of places you can get car insurance, too.

So.  If you owe maybe $500 on their credit cards and you want to stay with them,  pay the $500.  Before you file your bankruptcy.  But if you owe $5000, that’s another $5000 you are saving when you file bankruptcy.

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Robert Weed has helped twelve thousand people file bankruptcy in Northern Virginia. Robert Weed is a frequent panelist and speaker at the meetings of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. He is one of Northern Virginia’s most experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers. As an expert on changing consumer bankruptcy laws, Robert Weed has been interviewed on local and national TV and quoted in newspapers across the country.

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47 comments
  • I.N

    July 6, 2011, pm31 12:30 PM
    01

    Can they cancel your life insurance and retirement accounts?

    • Robert Weed

      July 6, 2011, pm31 6:05 PM
      02

      No, i don’t think they can cancel those, legally.

  • Valerie Settles

    July 6, 2011, pm31 1:18 PM
    03

    The last time I called them to find out what the deal was they told me that you can keep all of your insurance but they won’t offer you any new products for 2 yrs. They will cut off your online banking and they were not allowing you to reaffirm credit card debt at that time.

  • Sam Hain

    July 14, 2011, pm31 6:19 PM
    04

    will it have any affect on family members who also use USAA?

  • Jarhead

    August 7, 2011, pm31 11:01 PM
    05

    This is WRONG! I think it’s state dependent on whether USAA can cancel your insurance. Some states like CA have protections against retaliation for filing bankruptcy! I still have insurance, online access, and have been given new products.

    • Robert Weed

      August 8, 2011, am31 5:56 AM
      06

      That’s great news!

      I’ve now heard from some people here in Virginia who didn’t get cancelled, either. So all I can say if they MAY cancel you. I don’t know when they do or don’t.

  • Darla Jackson

    August 18, 2011, pm31 3:45 PM
    07

    USAA did not cancel our AUTO/LIFE Insurance, they just wont offer you any additional services, which also includes banking. Just make sure you are on time with your insurance prems.

  • Paul

    August 26, 2011, am31 9:20 AM
    08

    I had filed bankruptcy on them, and I had lost online banking, and went to a deposit status only on my checking accounts. They will only let me have mobile banking, and when you try to log in, on the internet you go to mobile banking web site. They will take my money, but wont let me spend it in my checking accounts. I cant access new accounts. They still let me have insurance with them. This all had happened in the month of August 2011.

  • Kevin

    October 13, 2011, pm31 6:15 PM
    09

    Has anyone ever actually been giving access to website and be offered new products after the couple years? I am awfully close to 2 years since my discharge.

  • anonomous

    January 8, 2012, pm31 5:02 PM
    10

    I filed ch 7 in Nov 2011. My case has not discharged yet but that hasn’t stopped USAA from limiting my online access completely. I no longer have the access to do anything via online banking. It’s crazy! USAA completely retaliated against me after my BK. I thought that was illegal?

    • Robert Weed

      January 8, 2012, pm31 5:29 PM
      11

      USAA is a bank, but they act like a credit union. They take it personally when you file bankruptcy on them.

  • ValleYum

    January 27, 2012, am31 8:07 AM
    12

    We filed Chapter 7 in December 2010 and were discharged in March 2011. We had 2 CCs, a signature loan, 2 auto loans, a checking account and auto & homeowners insurance with USAA at the time of filing. Talk about having your eggs in 1 basket – ugh.

    Our attorney was astonished that USAA did not cross-collateralize our loans. I understand that is a fairly common perception – but they do not.

    We decided to reaffirm the 2 auto loans. The reaffirmation process with USAA was fairly painless, they made no changes to our contracts at all. The nice part is that USAA did start reporting our auto loans again on all 3 credit bureaus after our discharge. All reference to the Ch 7 and BK filing was removed from the auto loans (we never had been late before or during our Chapter 7 filing) and they are both currently rated I-1/Pays as agreed. I did have to make 1 phone call to get both auto loans showing up everywhere and they were very nice to deal with.

    Both our auto and homeowners insurance premiums have actually dropped each renewal period after the BK was discharged. We live in a state that doesn’t allow your credit report to affect your current insurance product’s rates.

    We have gotten our USAA subscriber’s savings account distributions since the BK, too. They never touched a penny in our checking account.

    We lost our online access to the regular USAA website but do have online access through USAA’s mobile application. It is the kiddie-pool version of the olympic-sized USAA website but it does allows us to schedule payments to USAA for our vehicles and insurance as well as print out policy documents and insurance cards. You can make bank deposits to your USAA checking account at The UPS Stores nationwide. We never used USAA’s bill pay so we were not affected in that regard. The same login/password/pin information you used on their old website will log you in on the mobile site. mobile.usaa.com

    I hope this information is helpful! Oh, and no I don’t work for USAA. :-)

    • Robert Weed

      January 27, 2012, am31 10:29 AM
      13

      Good news. I like USAA. Compared to someone like Navy Federal, I like USAA a whole lot. BUT, compared to other banks, they do tend to take it more personally.

  • Pj Peterson

    February 21, 2012, pm29 8:55 PM
    14

    We have USAA and have are eggs in 0ne basket. I will be correcting that ASAP. I have to ask why do you not like Navy Federal?

    • Robert Weed

      February 22, 2012, pm29 2:20 PM
      15

      People who like them, love Navy Federal. But when you get in trouble with them, they are the meanest bank in America.

  • Richard

    February 24, 2012, pm29 4:50 PM
    16

    I filed for bankruptcy in 2008. I spoke to them in 2010 about regaining my online access and two managers claimed that if I began using my accounts more often I could get the access back. I signed up for direct deposit into my existing accounts, signed up for renters and auto, paid all my premiums off months ahead of time, and reoriented all my finances at USAA. I spoke with someone from USAA today and they denied the conversation ever happened. I have been trying to build my relationship back up with this company, but it seems they will hold this bankruptcy over my head for 7 years. I have finished college and have a decent salary since my filing. I want to purchase a home and begin some serious investing. I don’t understand why they don’t want to take my money?

    • Robert Weed

      February 24, 2012, pm29 5:38 PM
      17

      So what. The universe is full of banks. And insurance companies, too.

      I know that people who do business with USAA really, really like them. But they don’t want to do business with you. It’s a free country.

  • Edward

    April 3, 2012, pm30 7:42 PM
    18

    So if USAA is my bank and I pay off a $9,000 loan I have with them before I file, will our relationship continue as if I never filed and allow me to stay a member?

    • Robert Weed

      April 4, 2012, am30 6:56 AM
      19

      Ed: That would be my guess. But if you were my client, I’d tell you to get another lawyer. Pay off USAA $900 to keep them happy–sure. Pay off $9000??? Are you crazy? The universe is full of banks! (It’s full of insurance companies, too.)

      I don’t know why you are filing bankruptcy, but why do you think you have $9000 to throw away?

  • Christina

    July 8, 2012, am31 9:06 AM
    20

    I have USAA for car and renter’s insurance. When we filed chapter 13 in Dec 2009, they took my online access away which I think is so stupid! Now I can’t see my premimums until I get it in the mail. I can’t even get my insurance cards from the website I have to rely on them to email them to me. I do want to know if I can drop my car insurance since my car has a blown engine and not in working condtion? The car is in the BK and we live in NC.

    • Robert Weed

      July 8, 2012, am31 11:25 AM
      21

      Christina:

      Sorry to hear you are having trouble with USAA after you filed bankruptcy. That does happen a lot. You are asking about your car insurance now that your engine is blown. Well that’s the same answer as it would be if you were not in Chapter 13. Do you drive another car? Are you planning to get another car?

      What was the purpose of the chapter 13? You need to talk to your lawyer about whether it still makes sense for you to be in the chapter 13. But insurance questions? I don’t know, I’m a bankruptcy lawyer.

  • TJ

    January 21, 2013, pm31 3:13 PM
    22

    Hello, I filled a chapter and was dicharged in September 2012, I have a car loan with USAA, I would assume they would pick the vehicle up, I called and told them to come get the car and they have not. It’s been almost 6 months, I have kept good maint and insurenace, are they going to pick it up? I was told to make them a low offer on the vehicle becuase it might not be worht it to them to have it repossed.

    Any thoughts

    TJ

    • Robert Weed

      January 21, 2013, pm31 6:27 PM
      23

      TJ:

      Makes sense to me. If they have not bothered to come get the car, maybe they would accept a low ball offer.

  • Elaine

    March 14, 2013, pm31 10:26 PM
    24

    My husband and I have USAA for our homeowners insurance as well as auto insurance. We have two credit cards and an auto loan, all are current. I’m happy with them – but as you’ve said, there are other banks who will take our business. We will be filing Ch 13 within a month or two. Our attorney has advised us to keep banking with them to a minimum, to change our direct deposit to a bank we do not have current business with. Your website article and the responses/questions asked and answered provided alot of answers for me. I’m hoping for the best: the best being we can reaffirm the car note, keep auto and homeowners insurance. Thanks again – this was informative!

    • Robert Weed

      March 15, 2013, pm31 12:01 PM
      25

      Elaine:

      My thought is the same as your attorney’s. USAA is a bank but they act like a credit union. Sometimes they seem to take it personally when you file bankruptcy on them, sometimes they don’t. I don’t know much more than that.

      Thanks for your kind words. Glad that my blog is helpful.

  • Henry

    March 18, 2013, pm31 3:28 PM
    26

    This was my experience as well. I filed Ch. 7 and was discharged in 2010. I still cannot use the main website. Not everyone that files for bankruptcy is an irresponsible deadbeat, but that is how USAA has treated me since the BK. I think it is shameful given the great service I had received prior to the BK. I would think a military family would need extensive consideration given that some people don’t come back from war, or others comeback and decide to end it all, leaving their family in financial ruin. USAA should be ashamed of how they are treating military families. I am working on severing my business ties with USAA completely. I have only insurance products left, and there is a line a mile long of other companies that want my money and who won’t treat me like a 2nd-class citizen because I had troubles in the past. USAA does not know the meaning of Semper Fidelis and is a disgrace to this country’s military and their families.

    Thank you Counselor, for giving publicity to this very unprofessional and unbecoming tactic of a company I thought I could trust.

    • Robert Weed

      March 18, 2013, pm31 4:05 PM
      27

      Henry:

      Thanks for your service to the country. And thanks for posting this helpful comment here, too.

  • TEX

    May 2, 2013, pm31 4:09 PM
    28

    Will filing Chapter 13 on USAA have any affect on family members who also use USAA?

    • Robert Weed

      May 2, 2013, pm31 4:21 PM
      29

      Tex:

      Not that I’ve ever seen…..

  • Kelly M

    May 16, 2013, am31 7:24 AM
    30

    I had a bankruptcy in 2004. Unfortunately, I did owe USSA on a credit card at the time. I also have had auto insurance with them for over fifteen years. I was able to access their web services for a few years after the bankruptcy, until one day they simply took that option away. Fast forward nine years later that restriction is still there. I can understand their stance to a degree, although it seems like they take it to the extreme. In retrospect, I probably should have just switched to another company.

    • Robert Weed

      May 16, 2013, am31 10:56 AM
      31

      Kelly:

      Thanks for sharing…maybe if there are enough comments out there, they will lighten up a little.

  • Christina

    June 6, 2013, pm30 1:02 PM
    32

    I’m about to enroll in a debt settlement program to settle alot of credit card debt. I chose that route over bankruptcy. I’m hoping USAA does not cancel our auto insurance, do you think they might?

    • Robert Weed

      June 6, 2013, pm30 7:58 PM
      33

      Christina:

      I think USAA will be really mad when you just stop paying, if that’s what you mean by “debt settlement program.”

      And you might want to read what I say about these “debt settlement” programs here. http://robertweed.com/2010/07/01/watch-out-for-avoid-bankruptcy-scams/.

      If you look here you can see the legal limit on the fees they are allowed to charge in Virginia. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+6.2-2015

      Then think about whether you really want to enroll.

      There are some HONEST outfits in that business, but you need to be very careful to be sure you have one.

      • Christina Morris

        June 28, 2013, pm30 2:28 PM
        34

        Yes, I did research them and found one listed on BBB and they had an A grade. I also did a search on the type of program and they were listed as #1. I read the consumer reviews, etc. They sent a detailed schedule and in the paperwork it did say that they cannot settle with a creditor until I’ve given final approval. I know essentially it will show that I’ve stopped paying everyone and that will make them all mad but I didn’t see any other way. I didn’t want to file bankruptcy and wanted to attempt paying my creditors off. I know my credit will suffer for approximately 7 years but at least in 7 years I won’t be paying any more debt, which is what my future was starting to look like.

        • Robert Weed

          June 28, 2013, pm30 3:14 PM
          35

          Christina:

          Ok, hope it works out for you. Feel free to come back after a year or so and let us know how its working so far.

          • Jon

            March 20, 2014, pm31 8:36 PM
            36

            Christina, we considered doing what you are talking about but it is going to affect you just as long and financially you will be worse off.

            The companies you owe money to took the risk and charged you interest to cover their risk. At this point it is much simpler if you make this decision from a business point of view.

            Imagine those companies were happy to charge you 19%+ interest per year, now it’s time for you to hit them with the big 100% discharge. :)

  • Michael Smith

    July 7, 2013, am31 12:21 AM
    37

    I’ve had a ch.7 bk discharged April 2012. I’ve still got the 2010 F150…USAA doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to pick it up. Same address, same phone, same contact info. The truck is due for new tires ($1k), and brake job. At what point do you think they will pick it up? Of course, don’t want to pay for maintenance then have it finally picked up. If I low ball, or try an abandon title wont it just pop-up on their radar?…what are my obligations when I move?

    • Robert Weed

      July 7, 2013, pm31 2:33 PM
      38

      Mike:

      I’m surprised. a 2010 F-150 definitely has some value and I’m very surprised they haven’t come to pick it up, if you are not paying.

      My guess is the same as yours–that it’s somehow off the radar and you don’t want to alert them by making an offer.

      You say you are moving. If you still have it when you move, that might be a good time to do the postponed maintenance, since at that point they won’t know where you or the truck are, without you being in any way tricky or dishonest.

      I think they’ve lost your file somewhere..no idea how long that will go on.

  • Lindsay

    July 23, 2013, am31 1:36 AM
    39

    I just filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida on July 19. My husband and I have a few questions.

    1. I have an auto loan with USAA where our 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 is listed as collateral, however my husband just received a free and clear title with no lien holders on it the day before we filed. we owe usaa 15,700.00 for his truck, and the DMV has no record of USAA ever listing themselves as a lien holder. What is that, and what should I do?!

    2. I currently have a checking, savings, credit card (which is in the bankruptcy) and the auto loan (which may be listed as an unsecure auto loan in the bankruptcy, or left out, not sure). Will USAA cancel our car insurance if the other two accounts are listed in the bankruptcy? I have seen various posts on this forum saying they did or didn’t…

    All i know is i just filed for bankruptcy, that means im broke, which also means i cannot afford to pay the start-up costs on a new insurance policy…

    • Robert Weed

      July 23, 2013, am31 10:42 AM
      40

      Lindsay:

      On USAA you know what I know. Sometimes they take it personally when you file bankrutpcy on a debt to them and cancel your insurance. Sometimes they don’t. I don’t know enough to know when or why. sorry.

      Depending on your state law and the value of your truck, having the title by accident may mean the bankruptcy court will sell your truck. I had a situation like that recently where Navy Fed should have been on the title but they weren’t. Because my people were about to be foreclosed, we didn’t have time to straighten it out.

  • Tony

    August 30, 2013, am31 7:15 AM
    41

    My wife and I have been financially challenged for about a year because of my job loss. I recently found a full time job and had a part-time job that did not pay enough to keep us current on our bills including a USAA credit card and an equity line of credit on our home. I did not sign for the credit card and when we refinanced our home loans a few years ago, the loan processor USAA sent to our home to sign the papers, did not have me sign or put me on the refinance papers. I tried to have USAA change the mistake, but USAA would not re-do the refinance paperwork or add me to the loan. My wife has had a USAA account for over 20 years, when we married 10 years ago we cancelled my current auto insurance policy and added my car to her policy. She has a credit card with USAA that we have not been able to make payments on for several months and have not made payments on the equity line for 2-3 months. Until a few days ago we were under the impression our auto insurance policy was active. My wife told me she thought we might be late making our auto insurance payment and tried to log on to their website to make the payment, but it would not let her log on. So she called USAA and was informed USAA had cancelled our auto insurance around the middle to end of July. Now here is the part that makes me think something does not smell right! We moved out of our home last summer while I accepted a job in California that did not work out, the house was up for sale and my wife had moved into her parents’ home while putting in for a transfer to California, she changed our address for mailing purposes with USAA online to her parents’ home. When the job I accepted did not work out, I came back to Utah and we moved back into our home, because the housing market had not recovered at all, at that time. My wife accessed the change of address, at the USAA online and changed our address back to our home address. When my wife asked the agent why we were not notified of the cancellation or mailed a cancellation notice to our home, the agent told my wife, because she did not call the address change into USAA, the change she made on the USAA website did not change and she had to call the change of address into a USAA representative. My wife asked the agent where USAA had sent the cancellation notice, but the agent said they did not know where it was sent to. We called her parents and they said there were not any letters from USAA for her at their home that had been delivered in any way. We have never received a cancellation notice at our home address either. I have looked up the Utah Code for car insurance and it says the insurance company must send a cancellation notice within 10-30 days before cancelling a car insurance policy or the insurance company is in violation of Utah’s insurance code. I know USAA is using the non-payment of my wife’s credit cards and equity line for their reason to retaliate against us and cancel our auto insurance, even though USAA is the lien holder on my wife’s car and we have never missed a car payment.
    My question to you is, because we were not notified properly as per the Utah code and our payments are current on the car loan that USAA is the lien holder on, should I try to force USAA into reinstating our auto insurance, because trying to get insurance if you have had your policy cancelled would put us in a high-risk policy with another insurer and if I can get the insurance reinstated, I could shop for a new insurance carrier that may even be less expensive, because I have reached the over 50 crowd and may be able to get a better rate through an AARP recommended company. The last thing is, is it not a reasonable assumption that cancelling our USAA policy without notice, is fraud and not only puts us in danger, but also puts USAA in the position of being Criminally Liable, because it is a reasonable assumption we could have had a car accident in which someone was severely injured or even killed and we did not have any idea our cars were uninsured!

    • Robert Weed

      August 30, 2013, pm31 5:27 PM
      42

      Tony:

      Wow. Cancelling your car insurance without sending you a notice! That’s really serious.

      I wish a knew something about the legality of that, but I don’t. I’m a Virginia bankruptcy lawyer, who also know something about Fair Credit Reporting law and Fair Debt Collection law. That’s it. Car insurance–just don’t know.

      I do thing you should keep looking into it.

      I’m a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, NACA, because that’s the best place to get info on those two areas. But their members include people who do insurance law. (Automobile law, too.) You might check for a NACA member in your area who knows something about one or the other of those two areas. Good luck. http://www.naca.net/find-attorney

  • Tara

    January 30, 2014, pm31 7:04 PM
    43

    Actually I had filed bankruptcy and USAA DID NOT cxl my insurance, I am just not able to open any additional banking accounts but can do all insurance with them.

  • Crystal

    July 10, 2014, pm31 8:26 PM
    44

    I filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and it was discharged in June of 2003. When my ex-husband and I divorced all of our accounts had been put into both of our names. We agreed to split it down the middle, he took his car, I took mine, and it was documented in our divorce papers exactly which accounts, assets, and liabilities would be each persons’ responsibility. I continued to pay my bills and found out about a six months later that he did not. I eventually choose bankruptcy because I could not pay both my bills and his. Between my ex-husbands’ USAA credit accounts that I was an authorized user for and my USAA credit account, my name was attached to $7000 owed to USAA. It’s now 2014, so 11 years later, and USAA will not allow me to open even a checking account with them. I found this out today because my current husband attempted to open a joint checking account with USAA and when he gave my information, they told him that I had filed bankruptcy and some USAA accounts were involved so I would not be allowed to have my name on our joint checking account. IT’S BEEN 11 YEARS. I have very good credit now, I’ve owned and sold one home and currently own another, paid off a couple of vehicles, and maintained a few credit cards. I think it’s ridiculous that they are allowed to hold a grudge even after 11 years has past.

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      July 10, 2014, pm31 9:01 PM
      45

      Crystal:

      Yeah, they do.

  • Spencer

    July 13, 2014, pm31 9:14 PM
    46

    I just opened an account with USAA. I am going to file bankruptcy soon but, I do not have any debt, loans, credit cards, or payments with USAA for anything. I only have a checking account with them. Do you know if they will cut off my web access and access to their services.

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      July 14, 2014, pm31 6:31 PM
      47

      Spencer:

      I don’t know but I don’t THINK you’d have any problem.

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