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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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In October of 2015 my car was repossessed on the loan. I

Customer Question

In October of 2015 my car was repossessed for defaulting on the loan. I moved to Indiana, waited to hear from the company on when the auction was for my car to try and buy it but never heard anything. I just received a certified letter stating that the car had been sold and I still owed the lender $7,000. From what I understand about Georgia repossession laws, the company was suppose to have sent me a certified letter telling me the date and time of the auction. Is there anything I can do from here to get out of paying the $7,000?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

You are entitled to notice of your vehicle's auction. But if you relocated, and failed to update your contact information with the lender, the lender would not have been required to do any additional work to track your contact information down (they are only required to notify your last address).

Regarding damages or remedy.

Keep in mind, even if you were able to go and bid on your vehicle, you would still be liable for any deficiency on your loan.

  • For example: Car loan balance is: $10,000.00, you purchase the vehicle at auction for: $5,000.00, the bank is still entitled to pursue you for the deficiency of $5,000.00 as a personal debt (which can be enforced as a personal judgment, bank levies, and wage garnishments).
  • (I am keeping the amounts simple, but the lender is also entitled to the costs of repossession, and auction in addition to the loan balance and interest).

If you were not given proper notice (meaning you did update your contact information, and the bank did not give you notice at your updated address), you would have to show that you could both outbid the highest bidder (show you had cash on hand to purchase the vehicle - remember, you must show actual damages), and then be able to show that the bank's failure to notify you resulted in calculable damages (so your cash payment offset against the value of the car). So your damages are going to be calculated as the value of your vehicle at auction minus the actual auction value that you are being credited for (how much you are being given for against your loan amount).

In most cases, these damages are fairly small, but if you can show the bank acted intentionally, you may be able to get some additional credit towards your loan deficiency.

If the car was not sold at a proper auction, then you will have a much stronger claim - some disreputable repossession companies run auctions without proper notice so the value for the auctions are artificially deflated.