We purchased a Toyota Sienna CE in 2006 and had the vehicle until late 2008.Due to unfortunate circumstances we both were unemployed and payments were late and missed. The bank started harrassing us demanding the return of the vehicle. We knew the consequences of turning in the vehichle and tried to work with them.At one point we were harrassed by the towing company working for the bank so much so that the police had to be called. The next morning I truned the vehicle in to the bank and they continued harassing me .Yhis vehicle was sold for $11,000 and now they want us to pay them $16,000 +. I went to court the first time the bank did not show up and the case was dismissed. The bank continues to write and call us and is now starting a new case against us.What is my rights here? I do not have that kind of money and I no longer have the vehicle. I am I responsible for the remainder of the money although I do not have this car?
2 Answers from Attorneys
What do your loan documents say? We do not have it to read. Does your contract state that you would owe no money if you gave the car back? That would be very unusual. These are issues to be understood prior to entering into a contract. As for the many instances of "harassment," of course the lender is going to want to collect the money you agreed to pay.
Your loan paperwork, which no one here has read, almost certainly gives the lender the right to sue you for a deficiency when the car is turned in. They also can add storage fees, legal fees, court costs and so on.
When the bank missed court, likely there was a dismissal without prejudice, meaning they can refile.
You have two options: (1) pay them or (2) see a lawyer. If you pick (2) and are eligible, you may be able to discharge the debt with a bankruptcy.