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My Car Was Stolen, Recovered and My Insurance Company Let it Get Sold at Auction

By on March 19, 2019

Question:

Dear Steve,

My car was stolen when I was 1000 miles away from home. I had full coverage and gap insurance.

I filed a claim and notified my insurance company. two weeks later the sheriff department contacted me they found my car and told me what tow company picked it up and that I could come to get my car.

I contacted my insurance and they told me not to that they would move it to a secured storage lot to have their adjuster look at the damages in the meantime I kept calling and emailing insurance and finance company to find out what was going on with my car because the tow company called me and said it was still there.

I even had to get the police report and send it to the insurance company when I thought they already had it because they had told me at first they were waiting for it.

I received an email from the adjuster going to look at my car. I contacted them and they said they were going that day Nov 7th to look at the car.

On Tuesday after the 7th I tried to call insurance and kept getting voice mail so I emailed her to find out what the damages were and if I could go get my car.

I contacted the adjuster that went to look at my car they said they had sent their report to insurance and they should have it.

I continued to call my insurance finally got a hold of her Thanksgiving week when I asked her what was going on with my car she said if I could go get my car was it fixable or what she said oh they had deemed it a total loss.

So I called my finance company and left a message of the findings of the insurance company. I continued to call and email the insurance company to find out what they were going to pay so I could contact gap or if they contact gap as I had no idea of how the whole process works but didn’t hear anything.

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I went as far as to call gap myself to find out what the process was. now 5 months later I receive a letter from my creditor saying they sold my car on Nov 7th and what I owe and have a repo on my credit report.

How can this be my insurance company had my car. Finance company states they sold it on the very day the adjuster went to look at the damages.

I have no idea what to do. The finance company never sent me anything either of a sale of my car. I looked into if a car is a repo that the finance company is to inform you of where and when it is to be actioned.

But besides that my car wasn’t repoed it was stolen recovered and insurance had it so how could all of this happen

I do not know what to do or who to call who can help me on this on top of my personal belongings that were in the car. I don’t even know if there was anything left after being recovered but I should have been told what was in there or even be able to come to see for myself after they deemed it a total loss.

Rebecca

Answer:

Dear Rebecca,

It appears what we have here are several issues.

The first is that until the insurance company made a final payment, you should absolutely have continued to make your car payments. The accident did not relieve you of making them. The only thing that would stop the payments would be if the car was paid off.

Your insurance company seems significantly lacking. I find it stunning the insurance company only had one person who could answer your questions and address your concerns. The delay by the insurance company is not the responsibility of the finance company.

There are other issues that can trigger a repossession as you described. We don’t know how long it had been since you made your last payment or if there was an additional contractual issue that could have triggered the repossession. For example, if the car was considered abandoned out of state.

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Regarding the technical legal issues regarding notification, you would need to speak to an attorney who is licensed in your state to understand if the law had been breached.

One place to find such an attorney is here.

I’m not blaming you for the situation but I do think a lack of awareness of the individual contractual responsibilities and assuming the insurance company had some authority here led to the outcome.

Moving forward keep in mind, the insurance company is there for your benefit. They do not assume any responsibility until the vehicle is no longer in your name.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

2 Comments

  1. Rebecca

    March 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Question posted.

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