How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29822
Experience:  Lawyer
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am doing a voluntary reposession on a vehicle that I

Customer Question

I am doing a voluntary reposession on a vehicle that I cannot afford, has negative equity and my health situation and financial situation makes it impossible for me to pay for this car. I'm 74yo, on ssi and retirement income. I was told I would have to pay the balance of the loan if the car sells for less, which I'm sure it will.Other than declaring bankruptcy, which I refuse to do, what recourse do I have?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 12 months ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

You can simply not pay them. They have a legal right to sue you for any unpaid balance after the repossession, but if your only income is SSI and retirement accounts, they will have no recourse against you. Retirement funds and SSI cannot be garnished to pay a debt. You should be aware, though, that an unpaid judgment will remain on your credit for 7 years, and it can be renewed for another 7. If you own your own home, they could put a lien on the property, so that might not be an option for you. However, the first $5,000 in equity is exempt from being taken to pay a judgment.

Another option is to wait and see how much they're asking for after the call sells, tell them that you're "Judgment proof" (That's the legal term), and offer to settle for some amount you believe is fair in exchange for their promise not to sue for the rest. That promise is enforceable as long as you get it in writing.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.