If you bought a car with a loan, you signed a security agreement stating that if you defaulted on the loan, the lender could repossess the vehicle to recoup payment. In repossessing the car, the lender has the right to sell the car. If vehicle sells for less than you owe, a court will likely hold you responsible for paying the difference between the amount originally owed and the amount the new owner paid. A young couple can avoid the consequences of auto repossession by acting quickly.
Reinstate the loan contract by paying the amount past due within about 15 days of the repossession. The lender will also hold you responsible for the costs associated with repossessing the vehicle in addition to the past-due amount. If you signed a security agreement with an acceleration clause, you agreed to pay the entire balance of the loan if you defaulted or missed a payment. In that case, you will have to pay the full amount due on the loan to reinstate the contract. Contact your lender to determine which path you can take.
Redeem the vehicle by paying off the entire loan within two weeks of the repossession and paying for reasonable expenses the lender incurred as a result of having the car repossessed. Find out the total loan amount, costs associated with the sale of the vehicle, repossession fees, reasonable attorneys' fees and legal expenses, because these will be included in the amount you must pay.
Buy the vehicle at the repossession sale. The lender must send you notice of the sale within a reasonable time before it takes place. The notice must contain your name, the name of the lender, a description of the vehicle, the method of sale, the time and place of the public sale or the time after which the private sale will take place. The lender may hold a public sale by auction, where you can buy the car by placing the highest bid. This winning bid will likely fall below what you owe on the original loan amount. As a result, the lender can file a lawsuit to hold you responsible for the deficiency between the original loan amount and the amount for which you bought the vehicle at the sale.
- If you wait to purchase the vehicle at the repossession sale, another buyer may outbid you.
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