In these difficult times, with thousands of people losing their jobs every month, it can be hard to keep up with all the expenses, especially when the bills keep coming. Falling behind on payments for a vehicle happens to the best of us. Sometimes life deals you adversity like an unexpected medical bill, a work related layoff or some other situation that no one plans for in the budget. You don’t have the money for it, but if you put off the car payment, you can get the bill paid, and hopefully can catch up on the car payment next month. Many justify the decision because it could only cost a late charge.
The problem is trying to explain your situation to your loan company. They don’t care about your personal problems. They are in business for one purpose, to make money. You made an agreement with them and they want their money or your vehicle. Your loan company is not going to tell you what you legally can or cannot do in this situation. They are in the business of collecting the money you owe them not solving your problems. If it comes to it, they will send a bill collector for the money.
Generally, bill collectors are paid based on how much money they collect. In our experience here at Kirkpatrick and Associates, that means they will say whatever it takes to get your money. This could mean being nice, or they may try and scare the hell out of you. Whatever works to get your money, they will do. If they can’t get your money, bill collectors will come after your vehicle and they don't have to wait very long after you miss a payment. Most people think they are fine as long as they are not more than two months behind on payments. The truth is that your car can be repossessed if you are even one day late on a scheduled payment. So why do some bill collectors wait before sending out the “Repo Man”? In most cases, the car is not their first choice. They would rather have your money, but if you don’t give them the payment, they will repossess your vehicle.
Once the lender has you car, under law, they can sell it and use the money to pay off your debt. In some cases, they will resell it several times to various people, each time charging plenty of extra fees for the repossession, paperwork, legal work, the auctioning of the car and any additional fees laid out in the original agreement,. This is in addition to coming back at you for the rest of the money due on the loan that the sale didn't cover. Some years ago, the show "20/20" ran a story that told how some car dealers make as much as $27,000 on a $5,000 car.
What these unscrupulous lenders aren't telling you is that there are federal laws to protect you in situations such as this that concern your budget, cause you deep emotional stress, and leave you too many bills to pay.
Federal Laws allow you to keep your car, 100 percent of the time, if (1) you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, (2) you need the car, (3) the car is not an unreasonably high priced vehicle, and (4) you can afford to pay your required Chapter 13 plan payments. Kirkpatrick and Associates will do all in our power to help you keep your vehicle. However, sometimes a car is not worth keeping or the car is an extra car you cannot afford. Using bankruptcy in these cases, we can rid you of the car and the entire debt. In other cases, we can help you get rid of the car, and substantially lower the amount you still owe on the car. This can be a tremendous help and a great first step in getting you into another car you can afford.
Kirkpatrick and Associates will do all in our power to help you keep your vehicle. However, sometimes a car is not worth keeping especially if the car is an extra car you cannot afford. Using bankruptcy in these cases, we can rid you of the car and the entire debt. This can be a tremendous help and a great first step in getting you into another car you can afford.
In other cases, we can help you lower the amount you owe on the car to only what the car is worth and you can keep the car. The dealer will have to forgive the rest of the loan including late fees and high interest rates.
You have a choice. Kirkpatrick and Associates can stop the bill collectors calls and stop the “Repo-Man” from taking your vehicle. This all happens as soon as your bankruptcy case is filed. But until you file, there is no protection. If you are behind on your vehicle, act now to find out your options before the “Repo Man” finds you.
Call us today to setup a Free Consultation where we can explain everything to you in detail. We can help!
Author: Carl Gustafson