My Husband Recently Passed Away And I’m Trying to Do Better But a Co-Signed Repossession is Holding Me Back. – Becky

“Dear Jeremy,

I am a single mom and had an ex husband that I share three girls with, he recently passed away and my girls were left his money, life insurance, ATV’s, his vehicle, and all of this had to be put in my name because they are underage. During the time that he was sick, he was unable to help with child support and when the first depression hit in 2008/2009 my job cut my hours back and gas prices rose, etc. I got behind on credit card payments and I had cosigned for my sister to get a vehicle with my credit union (which she defaulted on and it was repossessed in the later part of 2008). I have been working on paying some of this debt off and trying to get a bigger house, since my ex passed and all of his things went to my girls, house was already too small before he passed. The only thing holding me up is the repossession.

The credit union keeps updating the repossession like it happened last month. It was repossessed in 2008, when I called the Credit Union to ask them to send me something in writing showing when it was repossessed, they said they couldn’t provide that information to me because they sold the loan and I had to call a new debt collector. I was advised not to do this by my credit couselor. What are my rights in this situation? Can they keep updating this like it is current when the repossession took place in 2008?


Dear Becky,

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A creditor has a duty under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to report only true and accurate information. Your post raises a couple interesting issues. First, the repossession took place in 2008. Thus, the creditor should report that event accurately. But what sometimes happens after a car is repossessed is it is sold to satisfy the remaining balance of the loan.

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After the sale the proceeds are credited to the loan and what remains is the “deficiency.” It is possible that what you are seeing reported is the deficiency. This amount could be reported as a past due amount.

Another issue I identified in your post is that you have not been receiving written responses that you requested. In California a creditor is required to provide a consumer, like yourself, a notice that they repossessed the car and intend to sell it. I am not sure what state you are in but you should check with an attorney to see if there were any violations if you feel you did not receive the proper notices.

Finally, if you still feel there is inaccurate information on your credit report you have the right to dispute this with the credit bureau. Send a letter to the credit bureau and include any supporting evidence for your position and send a copy of the letter to the creditor. They are required to conduct an investigation and correct any inaccurate information. I hope that helps.

Jeremy Golden, Esq. is one of the resident debt experts here at GetOutOfDebt.org that helps people for free. Jeremy is a consumer rights attorney licensed to practice in California. He represents individuals in cases against debt collectors for violations of the FDCPA. He also focuses on defending people in collection cases who have been sued by their creditors or debt- buyers. In the last five years he has won at trial or obtained a dismissal in over 200 collection cases. Recently he was voted one of San Diego’s Top Attorneys in the field of Consumer Law by SDMetro Magazine. His website is goldencardona.com

Legal Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice. It also does not create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship is formed with attorney without a written agreement.

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