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My husband recently passed away with an auto loan in his name

only. I am told...
My husband recently passed away with an auto loan in his name only. I am told by the lender that I am now responsible for the loan although I cannot afford to keep the car. my only income is social security and pension. Can they FORCE me to pay for the car...or the balance if I turn it in a let them dispose of it.
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
10/16/2013
LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,519
Experience: Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
Verified

LegalGems :

Hi; My goal is to provide you with great service - if you have any questions during our chat, please ask! I'll do my best to ensure your satisfaction! I am sorry to hear of this. A few moments please as I look into this for you.

Customer:

ok

Customer:

Are you still there

LegalGems :

I take it the car was purchased during marriage?

Customer:

Yes it wasw

LegalGems :

Let me check the statutes to see if I can find any exceptions.

Customer:

thank you

LegalGems :

Try to enlarge this before reading it, as it is harmful for the eyes being so tiny; but unfortunately 766.55 states that debt acquired during the marriage is presumably for the benefit of the marriage. http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/766.pdf If you default on the car and they repo it, then they can hold the estate (or the spouse) liable for the deficiency judgment. So it is generally best to sell the car personally, as the fire sale method does not usually secure the highest price.

Customer:

unfortunately, the car is way upside down so selling it is out of the question.

Customer:

someone informed me that because my income is from social security and pension they cannot go after my income.

LegalGems :

Keep in mind that if the car is returned to the lender, they can end up with the car and money. That is correct - social security is exempt; however other assets are not so they would be able to get a lien on other assets.

LegalGems :

Often times, when confronted with a situation when a consumer truly can't pay a debt, the lender will re-negotiate the interest rate. Have you explored that option?

Customer:

WE have no real assets. I am also working with mortgage company. to try to do a deed in lieu of bankruptcy. after expenses, I am over $1000 in the hole.

Customer:

I have talked with the lender...but they are not being very cooperative.

Customer:

to clarify...$1000 in hole is each month.

LegalGems :

Oh, I see. That is quite a bit. You may want to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Since you are on social security, I assume you are a senior. Have you looked into any free legal resources for seniors?

Customer:

Not sure where to find the legal resources. How do I go about finding someone

LegalGems :

Let me check. Can I get your county?

Customer:

United States, Wisconsin

Customer:

Sorry, I misread...Rock County

LegalGems :

Just a second; let me see if I can find anything.

LegalGems :

Still looking - some counties are not as progressive as others in this regard. Sorry for the wait.

Customer:

it's ok

Customer:

Walworth or Dane would be ok too

LegalGems :

http://homehealthunited.org/uploads/resources_rock_county.pdf OK, so this is all I could come up with. On page 2, there are 4 listings under legal services. The first 2 look like they might offer something that can help. I am linking you to all of the services so you can take a look -see since your husband recently passed. For example, notice they have "chore service" on page 1. I can't tell you what this entails, because each county is different. But in some counties they offer a few hours of free yard work!

LegalGems :

Let me check and see those counties.

LegalGems :














00-924-6601
Consumer Justice Law Center, LLC
P.O. Box 51
Big Bend,WI 53103
262.662.3982
Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Racine Office
521 6th Street
Racine,WI 53403
(800)(NNN) NNN-NNNN/span>
SeniorLAW
230 West Wells Street
Milwaukee,WI 53203
(414) 278-12227
<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:

Thank you for your help. I will try them tomorrow.

LegalGems :

You are welcome. Take care.

LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,519
Experience: Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
Verified
LegalGems and 87 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
I hope you found the information I provided useful. Hopefully you can find a good resolution to this, and this is just an awful time to have to deal with the financial aspect of everything.

Future requests can be labeled "TO LEGAL GEMS" followed by your question.

It would be appreciated if you complete the admin's survey - it's like our report card!

Thanks, and take care!

(thanks kindly for the generous bonus!)
Ask Your Own Estate Law Question
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LegalGems
LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,519
11,519 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor

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