Secured lenders

Today, the automotive financial services industry is marked by increased competition, unpredictable fluctuations, and a non-stop demand for increased performance and efficiency. But in both consumer and commercial settings, the industry's traditional need for high quality, responsive legal representation has never been greater. Can the tension between having legal counsel of the highest quality and experience, and saving costs be reconciled? The answer is yes, and the key is specialization.

At Manning Leaver, specialization in the automotive finance industry is not a marketing strategy or the latest fad; it has been our specialty since the firm began in the 1930′s

Specialization allows our clients to actually reduce their legal expenses while enjoying all of the benefits of our experience, reputations, and long established "av" rating. This is accomplished not only by our competitive flat fee and hourly rates, but also by our ability to draw upon a sixty year reservoir of legal and business experience in speaking your language and solving your problems quickly, the first time.

In this introduction to our firm, we highlight a few of the important areas where our specialization and experience can save you and your organization from unnecessary expense and lost time, and also safeguard you from loss of valuable legal rights and protections.

Consumer Automotive Finance

There has been an explosive growth of consumer bankruptcy filing and a resulting increased need to resort to the courts to enforce consumer automotive finance obligations. This has naturally caused concerns by auto lenders about increased legal expenses and efforts to cut them without sacrificing quality. Some have assumed that only collection oriented law firms would be willing to offer a true reduction of costs, and therefore feel precluded from using attorneys who are experts and provide high quality representation in the law of retail automotive paper and leases. At Manning Leaver, we do provide high quality work at extremely competitive rates. Based in part on the large volume of matters we handle for auto finance lenders, we have made a substantial investment in human and automation resources. This allows us to offer repossession/replevin (claim and delivery) and consumer bankruptcy representation at exceptionally low flat fees. But we also provide economy in a broader and more important sense: our knowledge and experience allow us to both spot potential trouble and help you avoid it before it is too late, and to obtain genuinely good and lasting results in the absolutely shortest possible time.

Claim and Delivery

When court enforced repossession is required, we are ready to begin a claim and delivery lawsuit and schedule an early hearing to recover your collateral fast. Speed of response is foremost in our approach; in fact, we are able to prepare all of the necessary papers on the same day your request is received. Easy to understand flat fee arrangements are available. Whether the auto lender is a bank, captive financing company, savings institution, credit union, or dealer affiliate, we know the business and work closely with you to get the job done.


We offer first rate representation of automotive finance lenders in individual consumer bankruptcies, and in formulating the best way to approach consumer bankruptcy in general. For most clients, we offer low flat fee rates for the most commonly requested services, obtaining relief from stay and objecting to Chapter 13 plans. We save our clients even more by doing a complete job the first time, thus avoiding unnecessary return trips to court. Reduced fee arrangements for all other aspects of consumer bankruptcy are also available, including proofs of claim, reaffirmation agreements, and attending first meetings of creditors.

Collection on Charged Off Accounts

Although collection departments of auto lenders are generally effective in collecting on extremely delinquent accounts, for some accounts neither telephone calls nor letters nor repossession efforts will resolve the account satisfactorily. At Manning, Leaver, Bruder and Berberich, we have been extremely successful with our flat rate attorney demand letters, which are sent by certified and registered mail. Additionally, we offer our high volume auto lender clients very attractive contingency fee arrangements to collect on delinquent auto loans.

Dealer Automotive Finance
Loan Documentation and Counsel

Manning Leaver offers legal guidance to financial institutions regarding transactions involving flooring matters, capital loans, construction loans, dealership acquisition financing and loan work outs.

The commercial side of automotive finance matches the consumer side for specialized procedures and traps for the unwary. But referring dealer loans and flooring agreements to outside counsel can result in "over-lawyering;" too often attorneys must educate themselves about your business before getting down to business. Working with the partners at Manning Leaver who specialize in dealer finance is different: whether the transaction involves a flooring matter, capital loan, redevelopment agency related construction loan, dealership acquisition financing, or loan workout, our expertise allows us to immediately focus on genuine issues, without re-inventing the wheel. In fact, our innovative fixed fee for preparation and/or review of many common loan documents guarantees our commitment to keep costs down.

When a dealership goes into bankruptcy, or when it becomes necessary to enforce flooring or other dealer financial obligations through the courts, time is literally of the essence. Perhaps no other form of inventory financing presents greater risks. At Manning Leaver, we understand the practical realities as well as the legal specifics surrounding such situations and stand ready to provide immediate assistance when the need arises.

An Invitation

We invite any questions you might have concerning our firm's areas of expertise, our attorneys, or our fee arrangements. For more information please call us at (323) 937-4730 and ask to speak to any of the firm's partners