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Collection Company Wants More Than We Can Afford for an Old Truck Repossession. – Bekki

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

My husband & I had a 2002 Chevy Impala repossessed in May of 2007. At the time of the repossession we owed $8502.39 & received notice that the bank would sell our vehicle at auction.

I later received a notice of sale stating that they sold a 2002 Chevy S10 pickup at auction for $3068.00 (which of course I cannot find my copy of anymore), leaving us with a deficiency amount of $5434.39.

This was obviously incorrect & I never heard another word from the bank regarding this debt until April of this year.

The collection company that contacted us now states that we owe $11943.85 I requested all of the pertinent information and received the original loan documents & notice of repossession & letter stating the deficiency balance but not the Notice of Sale.

Is acquiring this piece of paper going to help me at all? I absolutely cannot afford to pay this balance & am wondering if there is any way to dispute this.

Is there any way to dispute this claim?


Dear Bekki,

tow truck repoIt sounds like the only issue that is disputed is proof of the sale price at auction. These dealer auctions typically have lower than retail purchase prices so I’m not surprised the amount was so low. Actually I’m surprised the amount was so high!

You can certainly write the collection company back again and ask for documentation to support the sales price. If you want to dispute the debt, click here. The downside of doing this is the debt owner will now be all set to sue you if they want.

But I’m wondering if they ever sued you over this debt in the past or they are just holding on to it and are trying to collect without suing. It’s not clear.

That makes me wonder if the statute of limitations might have expired on this debt already and the lender is no longer able to sue you.

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There are a number of factors that can impact the actual end date of the statute of limitations and not all states share the same length in which you can be sued. Making an assumption from where your question came from it looks like in your state it might be ten years before a debt is time barred.

If the collection company can prove the sale price at the auction you might want to consult with a local attorney that is licensed in your state to discuss your chances of being sued still over this debt. If they confirm, what I suspect, you could still be sued if you have not been already.

In that case the three most logical options would be to either settle the debt with cash on hand for less than you owe. You might be able to settle for 40 percent of the balance but I don’t think you’ve got that available.

You could make payment arrangements with them to pay the balance due monthly.

Or if you don’t have any extra cash you could consider discharging the deficiency through bankruptcy and get the legal fresh start and second chance you are entitled to.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them for free about your specific situation. Get the facts and then you can make an informed and educated decision if bankruptcy is right for you.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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About the author

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.

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