Is a Voluntary Repossession a Good Idea? – Dan

“Dear Steve,

I owe about $8,800 on my car and with credit card debts being around $13,000, I am unable to pay more than the minimum payment due on that car. I don’t need this car and would love to get rid of it in order to throw that extra money at reducing my credit card debts. I don’t know of any alternatives but to bring it in to a dealer as “voluantary” repossession. The lien holder( a credit union) is in Arizona and I live Washington, so I can’t sell it to someone because they’d have to wait a couple weeks ’til I got the title.

Is a volantary repo. a good course to go, and if so, is there a way to make sure I’m not tagged with unnessary fees by my credit union?


Dear Dan,

If you turn the car in as a voluntary repossession you are going to get screwed and owe a huge mother of a bill to the lender.

It seems that the issue here is not if you can sell the car, but how to complete the transaction. This is an issue that people face all the time. I would suggest that you contact the credit union in Arizona and ask them how they normally deal with this.

If you sent certified funds to the credit union by express mail I’m sure you could get the title cleared in a day or two, not weeks.

You can make this process smoother is you ask the buyer for two cashiers checks. One check would be for the amount still owed on the loan. This check would be made payable to the lender. The second check would be payable to you. These would be the funds that you get from the sale of the car for a purchase price that is more than the amount owed on the loan.

To make everyone in this transaction feel safer you could use a service like They even offer a title transfer service.

How Vehicle Escrow With Works

  1. Buyer and Seller Agree to Terms
    Both parties agree to terms of the transaction, which includes a description of the vehicle, sale price, number of days for the Buyer’s inspection of the vehicle, and any shipping information. Additional services including vehicle inspection and title transfer may be selected at this time.

  2. The Buyer Pays
    The Buyer submits a payment by selecting wire transfer. Check or money order are also available on amounts $2000 and under. verifies the payment. Processing time varies by payment method.

  3. The Seller Ships or Delivers the Vehicle
    Upon payment verification, the Seller is authorized to ship the vehicle and submit tracking information. verifies that the Buyer receives the vehicle.

  4. Buyer Inspects and Accepts
    The Buyer has a set number of days to inspect the vehicle and the option to accept or reject the vehicle. For more information, FAQs – Return Questions. Upon acceptance, the process of transferring the title should begin. Click here to read about our Title Transfer service.

  5. The Seller is Paid by pays the Seller by check, ACH or wire transfer. The transaction is complete.


Steve Rhode
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1 thought on “Is a Voluntary Repossession a Good Idea? – Dan”

  1. Dear Dan,
    Two years ago we were faced with a situation in which we had a motorhome that we could not make the payments on any further.  We tried to sell and even rent out for a couple years, until finally the cost of maintenance and barely making the payments got to us.  We voluntarily returned to the bank.  Two years later we are recieving a call from a collector in regards to settling this.  They are asking for a huge amount of money in which we do not have.  Where should we go from here and how should handle this?  We hear mixed advice from people.  Some say that the bank will not pursue taking to court because its not worth the amount.  Other’s say they will and will end up garnishing our wages.  Can you help us on which direction is best?  Thank you.  Jewls


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