I Can’t Afford My Harley Davidson Motorcycle Anymore. Harley Davidson Financial Wants to Repossess My Bike. – David

I bought motorcycle and can no longer pay for it . I’ve had the bike for over a year and half, the day after I bought the bike home my wife and I attempted to return the bike to Harley Davidson financial company stating that we couldn’t afford the bike, they refused to accept the bike.

We relented kept the bike, made on time payments up until sept., 2011 ( we purchased the bike in march 2010 ) it’s a new bike. In sept., 2011 my situation drastically changed , I’m an electrician (residential) currently I work only 3 to maybe 4 days a week making it impossible for me to make payments on the bike.

Harley Davidson financial is hammering me with calls daily threatening to repossess the bike. I don’t want to go that route because of what it will do to our credit. My question is regarding volunteer repossession , can I give the bike back to H/D financial ( even though they refused to take the bike back last year ) they put the bike up for auction , my wife and I pay the balance after auction.

If such an action is possible and such an agreement can be struck , how would this affect our credit?


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11 thoughts on “I Can’t Afford My Harley Davidson Motorcycle Anymore. Harley Davidson Financial Wants to Repossess My Bike. – David”

  1. I am in the same situation with Eagle Mark and Harley i bought a 2020 Harley Softail standard and was upside down from the beginning 14K later and 365 for a payment i can no longer afford it. I have been able to do a payment deferment with them which helped for a while but with the job layoffs and trying to catch back up i just cannot afford it anymore. I have tried refinancing it twice and no go and i don’t have 5 grand to put into the loan to sell it. I really wish that there was a way i could refinance it or sell it with no strings attached. Personal loans are not the way to go if you cant afford the payment i wont be able to afford a personal loan.
    Good luck to all

  2. You’ve already blown your credit rating pretty badly if you’re missed enough payments that you’re getting phone calls. But a repo is even worse. You need some type of bridging loan between the sale proceeds you’ll get from retailing your bike yourself, and what you owe Harley.

    So you sell it and you have the buyer go, as they must (unless it’s a dealer), through Harley rider-to-rider program to buy it. Assuming it sells for less than the payoff, then at closing YOU owe Eaglemark Bank that difference, and they won’t want to release the title to the new buyer so easily since the bike is security on your FULL loan.

    But if you call them ahead of doing this, and let them know the approximate difference, and how long you’ll take to pay it off, and if it’s somewhere “close” to the payoff (varies by bike, situation, your credit picture, etc.) and you provide them with proof of income that you can pay off what’s owing to them, they might do it.

    They might do something seen in real estate, but rarely in vehicles, called a Conveyance of Title (Assignment of Deed) in lieu of Repossession (Foreclosure). (The parens represent what the document looks like if it’s real property. What’s not in parens is my guess at what you might come up with.

    If that happens, you have no repo on your record, but you do have this unpaid outstanding debt, and NO, they will not give you “payments” other than what you tell the collector every time he calls you’re about to send, and he demands triple that.

    You stay in arrears on your bureaus until you pay off that last couple thousand-dollar gap, but the loan closes out as “closed by creditor for nonpayment” (or something similar) but not as a repo. When the account is paid off, it zeros out and the clock starts. Now it’s a big, fat, pus-filled sore on your bureaus that only time, seven years to be precise, can cure, at which time it falls off your bureau.

    As it gets older and older, it does carry less weight, especially if EVERYthing, and I mean everything, else you have is perfect, never-late credit, and you have other open and active lines of credit, both secured and unsecured, and preferably a paid-on-time mortgage in the mix.

    But still try to pay off that shortfall as fast as you can. See if you can keep Eaglemark from selling it to a collection agency or you get a SECOND Pus-Filled, Nasty Mark on your bureau, and even bigger azzholes calling you and bugging you. Then both nasty marks anchor your FICOS for seven years.

    KEEP EAGLEMARK (somewhat) HAPPY and you could pull this off with only one nasty, repeat-missed-payment/account-closed-by-credit-grantor “blemish.”

    Good luck.

    Wait, this is an old thread. It’s been repo’ed by now. But hey, it’s getting close to 7 years, eh?

    Soon you’ll be free of it. Hope all else got paid…

      • Yes, if you’re financed by Harley (Eaglemark) and you sell your bike to a non-dealer, you have no choice but to contact HD Rider-to-Rider to convey the title, unless your buyer trusts you to take his cash and send it off to Eaglemark and promise to sign over the title to you later when you get it in the mail… good luck finding such a buyer.

        So Eaglemark will have you both go to a H-D dealership where Eaglemark has sent the closing documents. You tell Eaglemark the sale price ahead of time, and Eaglemark gives you instructions on how to have the buyer’s cashier’s check made out to them. After closing Eaglemark remits to you the overage.

        ^^^^ In theory, that’s how it works selling to somebody with cash to buy. BUT, since that’s kinda rare among most riders, what REALLY happens most of the time is that you and the buyer both talk to Eaglemark, and Eaglemark lets the buyer FINANCE with them a certain percentage of the bike’s value (which the later, at-closing visit to the dealership lets them verify the bike is what it’s claimed to be.

        Then closing happens at the dealership and you, the seller, get a check for any overage later, and the buyer signs his papers and he leaves on the bike. But only AFTER the dealership sells him a warranty and road hazard and emergency assistance and talks the buyer into adding on $5k+ in goodies with the dealership’s “Chrome Guy” customization department. That all goes into the loan so the new owner is also “upside-down” (owes more than the bike’s worth)…


        Yeah, if you financed with Harley, and you still owe and can’t pay it off before selling it, you WILL be handling the transaction through Eaglemark Bank, and you WILL both be closing the deal at an H-D dealership.

        Welcome to Harley. One big, happy family. 🙂

          • Thanks, Steve!

            Yeah, I always liked that particular bit of the crazy H-D nomenclature. I know a few “Chrome Guys” and the hilarious thing is that now everybody buys a bike and removes the chrome and buys wrinkle, gloss, or satin black powdercoat parts instead. (Don’t think they’ll start calling ’em “The Black Guy” though.)

            So I think the term “Chrome Guy” has stuck, and in 20 years black will be back out of style (ergo, H-D factory standard issue) and chrome will be back in. So the name can fit again.

            H-D always releases the new trends as add-on parts, as do all the aftermarket places like Performance Machine, Arlen Ness, et. al. That way ya hafta buy your bike and head straight over to the Chrome Guy at his desk and order your exhaust and intake and bars and grips and levers and LEDs and all those little decorative parts you want exactly your way.

            Margin on those is nearly double. And if Harley installs it (they tell you they should do it or it voids warranty) they get $110/hour shop rate. So here’s a tip. When you buy a new bike, talk only to the Sales Manager and get a guarantee that you get 30% off of parts and labor for anything you ever do on that bike. Usually they’ll only do 15%-20% when pressed, but if they really need to move some iron, they’ll give you something closer to 30% off of Harley parts. (Maybe 20% off aftermarket parts, which the “Chrome Guy” usually also will get for you.)

            Then, Eaglemark Bank will finance ALL of that crap you’re putting on your bike. It doesn’t increase value very much, especially if you make the bike look tacky (lots of tasteless folks out there) but Eaglemark, being owned by H-D, looks at the big picture and wants to sell the parts and service also.

            Really, if you want a fantastic, customized, new Harley for nothing down, and you have good credit, you can have it. You can have a $30k Road Glide and another $15k of parts and installation to make it unique, fast, and a reflection of you. Now you’ve got a bike payment that looks like you bought a Mercedes, and a bike insurance payment of $175/month to cover the bike and all the goodies.

            That’s what Harleys are all about, really. No two are ever alike except on the showroom floor. And most then don’t leave the dealership without a few thousand in tweaks.

            It’s a culture of uniqueness. Sure, you can customize Indians or Japanese makes, but nowhere near the degree you can with a Harley.

            P.S. Steve, I’m REALLY ENJOYING your website. You give people a ton of great advice, and I recognize a lot of it as stuff I figured out myself after some years of post-business-failure years of credit destruction. I had to figure these things out as I went, and scrupulously monitored (and monthly subscribed to, at $15-$20 each) all three major credit bureaus. It took a bunch of work but now I’m in the 825 FICOs and that’s without even having an active home mortgage loan. (I do take out a lot of other credit in varying types, then pay it way down.)

            Reminds me of two other (now way off-topic) tips:

            1. Never pay $15 or $20/month to Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. Sign up for the free 1 month trial, then call them and say it will be too expensive because you need all 3 bureaus with DAILY FICOS from each, and DAILY full bureau reports from each. The bureau you’re calling will try to sell you a “better” product that doesn’t provide that daily access to all on the alternate bureaus (gives only monthly or quarterly or annual FICOs). So you decline that and tell them you hafta buy all 3, or maybe just your competitors. Then they offer you about HALF-PRICE and lock it in for a year (I think permanently now on one of them). So you do hafta call annually to threaten to leave and get your 1/2 off rate reinstated, but it’s worth it because: Instead of paying $50/month [=$600/year !!!!], you’re saving $300/year.

            And now you can see every little internal nut and bolt of each bureau report (especially if you know how to access the full version and read them correctly. And you still get priority service from them in correcting errors because you buy from them. And you can still be slightly OCD and check your FICOs and pull fresh reports DAILY on all three every time you get a email/text notice your score or report changed a whit. For me, having this access to all bureaus is a $300/year expense that MORE than pays for itself in lower interest, lower insurance, better housing choices, free perks on super-premium cards like Amex Platinum worth thousands a year, and all the appurtenances which attach to having great, clean bureaus and high FICOs.

            2. American Express is your bestest buddy in fixing credit. If you’ve had an American Express earlier in life, and you screwed up, and get it back, call them and tell them the year you first got it. They will change the “Member Since” date to that date, just on your word if they can’t find it. Even if it was a corporate card issued to you for which you weren’t on the line, it will count. Do that right after you receive the card in the mail (start at Gold [non-revolving], then later get a separate Platinum, btw.) OK, after they send you the new card with the old date (mine is ’87) sometimes you’ll see on your bureaus that your NEW Amex account shows it’s been open since 1987.

            I was told they quit doing that, and it didn’t work on my clear/blue Amex Preferred Rewards card, or on my Ameriprise-based* Amex Platinum. Those show recently opened accounts, but I’m working on getting Amex to instruct their credit-reporting division to say those accounts are also from ’87. It adds MASSIVE LENGTH to your credit history and raises your average account age — critical for people like me whose mortgages were too long ago and (sadly) fell off the bureaus.

            *2a. When you do get your American Express Platinum, get the Ameriprise version. You don’t need to be Ameriprise to get it. Why? Although you don’t get the 50,000 joining-bonus miles, you also don’t have to manufacture spending to do it (often wasted money), but INSTEAD you get the $450 annual fee WAIVED the first year. So you do this:

            a.) Apply in November. Get the card by early December.

            b.) Sign up for all the free upgrades in travel programs and lounges and free WiFi and all that stuff. It’s valuable.

            c.) BIGGIE: Set American Airlines as your airline for travel-expenses reimbursement. Go to AA website and buy yourself two $100 gift cards (electronic ones). Spread the purchases at least 4-5 days apart and don’t let that total amount one either purchase go over $100. Amex will credit you back the $200. (Do the same on an Amex Gold Card with just one certificate.)

            d.) Repeat (c.) above after January 1st. Buy two more certificates, one at a time, 4-5 days apart. Probably name yourself as the recipient. (Do the same with 1 certificate for Gold card if you have one also, and you should.) Now, since you’re in a new calendar year, Amex will again credit you both of those $100 fees back. Now you’ve gotten $400 in free air travel, that NEVER EXPIRES, on American Airlines. You can apply up to 8 vouchers on any given ticket or set of tickets in the same PNR (technical term for an airline reservation record).

            e.) Voila, you have paid nothing for a Platinum card and been handed $400 that’s basically like cash. In future years, you’ll need to start paying the $450 fee, which pays for itself in other ways anyway, and really the free $200 in air tickets a year makes it more like only $250. Note: some people do “churn” these, and make a sport of it, by cancelling and re-applying for different flavors of such cards and getting such bonuses. But “churning” is stupid, damages your bureaus because of too frequent applications for credit, possible denials of offerings, and if they catch you churning, you can get billed-back for the bonuses, AND you’ll be blacklisted by at least that creditor — probably by all the major ones who can see the beehive of activity on your bureaus.

            3. Another option in this vein (mentioned in #2) to assist with mortgages, which Fair Isaac salivates over you having: OK, yes, I do hate the idea of once again owning residential property — it’s as bad as cars in maintenance and lack of NET appreciation. BUT, I might buy some crappy little house and get a 30-year interest-only mortgage and pay it down 90% just to have a current mortgage on my bureaus showing a teensie payment, and that it’s 90% paid-off. (I can always rent it out and if I get back a decent enough return [like, um, break-even is fine and difficult to do even that on residential property], it’s worth it to have it buoying my bureaus.)

            Wow, I’m back to where I was: Complimenting you.

            You’ve got a LOT of expertise on these pages.

            I’ll be enjoying this site. If anything I’ve written stirs an uncovered topic, or is a new tip, feel free to grab it and run with it. I would even be happy to write up any of these small tips in a (far more grammatical, less slapdash) blurb, along with any related items, and even specifics on which departments to call, and how, and the proper timing, if you desire…

            Yeah, I’m rambling, but I’m pretty excited to find such a useful site among so much junk on these topics.

            Thanks, Steve!

            P.S. What do you ride? Are you an around-towner, a day-tripper, weekender, or serious tourer?

  3. Giving the bike back is pure idiocy…find out what your payoff us, and offer it for sale for payoff…then, your credits still good..giving it back, your wallet still takes a hit because they might auction bike for 2 grand, leaving the balsnce to be paid by you…your credit score takes the hit on the repo, plus, if unable to pay difference between what you owe and auction sales price, you end up with phone calls for years, and another hit on your credit…

  4. David, as a fellow motorcycle rider myself I can feel the pain of losing your ride.

    No matter what you do your credit is going to take a hit. Missed payments will have a negative impact but so will a repossession and a judgment.

    You are better off handing the bike back to Harley Davidson Financial in an orderly fashion. When you do turn it over make sure there is documentation of the condition the bike was in so no claim can be made later for damage.

    The bike will most likely be sold at auction and you will probably owe a heck of a lot. You’ll owe the difference between the sales price at the commercial auction, which will be low, and your remaining loan balance.

    Do you have other debt you are struggling with as well? I get the feeling this is but one issue in your current situation but the one that pushed you over the edge.


    • David I completely feel your pain and where you are coming from. I am an avid Harley enthusiast as well as a Finance Manager so I know quite a bit about this topic. I am in your same position as I am going through a divorce and have to refinance my bike in my own name and remove my ex off as part of our divorce decree. Being that I am upside down on a loan that is only a year and a half old I had the choice of coming up with almost 4K or a “voluntary repo” as a finance manger I can tell you that whether it is voluntary or not it reflects on all 3 of your bureaus the same…. “REPO” David don’t be fooled by what Eaglemark tells you. Brother make all the payments you can and stay in contact with them, trust me they don’t want that bike it is a loss to them. They will work with you. As mentioned by another rider, try and sell the bike on your own and maybe even get a personal loan for the difference of the sale. For instance my situation…. If I wasn’t able to come up with the difference that Eaglemark was willing to finance and my bank does not finance banks I would have had to give them the bike and “REPO” credit goes to Sh*t right?!?!? But I was able to get a personal loan and pay the difference at a low rate and keep my bike. Now in your situation try and sell the bike for as much as possible and take the loan to make up the difference. I can guarantee you that if credit permits paying off the personal loan to get the title from Eaglemark will be a hell of a lot lower and more comfortable payments for you and your wife in your times of struggle. I hope this helps you my friend and one day you are in a better spot financially and back on those two wheels.

  5. David, as a fellow motorcycle rider myself I can feel the pain of losing your ride.

    No matter what you do your credit is going to take a hit. Missed payments will have a negative impact but so will a repossession and a judgment.

    You are better off handing the bike back to Harley Davidson Financial in an orderly fashion. When you do turn it over make sure there is documentation of the condition the bike was in so no claim can be made later for damage.

    The bike will most likely be sold at auction and you will probably owe a heck of a lot. You’ll owe the difference between the sales price at the commercial auction, which will be low, and your remaining loan balance.

    Do you have other debt you are struggling with as well? I get the feeling this is but one issue in your current situation but the one that pushed you over the edge.



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