Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in California

Lien Deficiency Claim

If a person receives a notice of pending lien sale for a car, and they are not labeled as registered or legal owner on that notice, but are labeled as interested parties, do they have any legal obligation to pay for a deficiency claim from a lien on said car?

Asked on 12/04/08, 10:09 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Phillip Lemmons, Esq. Phillip Lemmons APC, Attorneys at Law

Re: Lien Deficiency Claim

Not sure. What makes them an interested party?

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Answered on 12/06/08, 1:54 pm
David Gibbs The Gibbs Law Firm, APC

Re: Lien Deficiency Claim

The answer depends upon the facts of what happened leading up to the car being repossessed. If you were a guarantor, or co-signer on the car loan, then yes you are on the hook. That's probably the number one reason you would receive this notice as an "interested party." If I had to guess (which I have to without further facts), I'd say you co-signed on a car loan for someone, and its now going to come back to bite you. Car repossessions almost always result in a deficiency of some sort, so if you are a co-signer or a guarantor, then I'd get a hold of the lender and see if you can redeem the car loan by bringing it current, get the car and try to sell it. If you don't, then the repo will go on your credit report, and you will be equally liable for the deficiency.

The other possible situation is that you were in the chain of title to the car somewhere after the lien went into place. In that case, you may not have any liability, but this is very rare as you cannot transfer a vehicle without the lender's consent. I'd suggest that you need to discuss this with an attorney, with more facts available to determine your potential exposure.

*Due to the limitations of the LawGuru Forums, The Gibbs Law Firm, APC's (the "Firm") participation in responding to questions posted herein does not constitute legal advice, nor legal representation of the person or entity posting a question. No Attorney/Client relationship is or shall be construed to be created hereby. The information provided is general and requires that the poster obtain specific legal advice from an attorney. The poster shall not rely upon the information provided herein as legal advice nor as the basis for making any decisions of legal consequence.

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Answered on 12/05/08, 12:53 pm

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