Due to an illness I had to let my car go back as I could no longer afford the payments. Debt collectors are calling me on my job and threatening to sue me for the balance remaining on the car. I live in South Carolina and do not know the laws for repossesion. What rights do I have? Am I obligated to pay for this car?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Car Reposssesion
What you're being hounded for is what's called "the deficiency" - the amount of the payoff on the loan minus the sale price of the vehicle after repossession equals your deficiency. Just because the car didn't fetch as much as you owed, that doesn't mean you're off the hook - necessarily.
Now, you may have a defense against further collection efforts. Just one example: the statute of limitations might have run. You may also have claims against the lender (improper fees may have been added to the amount claimed, ,for instance). Or you might be judgment proof. Finally, you might consider filing for bankruptcy.
However, I wouldn't advise taking ANY course of action without speaking to a lawyer about your specific situation. All of these possible options are highly fact-specific and must be evaluated carefully. A good consumer lawyer can lay out your options, evaluate your chances for success on any one or more of them, and advise you about what you ought to do.
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