My Car Was Picked Up By The Repo Man. What Happens Next? – Michelle


“Dear Steve,

I was laid off last Fall, and have been unable to find work (not even part-time). I fell behind in my car payments and am no longer able to afford the car. The finance company repo’d the car without notice, and will not talk to me about what I am supposed to do next. Am I just supposed to sit here and wait for a lawsuit to be served???

What usually happens after your car is repo’d? Can I be sued even though I don’t have any income? What recourse do I have, if any?

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Dear Michelle,

Recourse huh, not a whole lot. Without income to bring your loan current or payoff the loan I’d say this situation is going to result in the following.

  1. Your car will be stored until the public action. You will be billed for that storage and the repo itself.
  2. At the public auction your car will sell for less than the value of the loan.
  3. The lender will send you a huge bill for the difference between the balance of the loan plus repo and storage fees and what the car sold for at auction.
  4. You probably won’t be able to pay that big bill.
  5. Once you get employed again, and depending on the size of the bill and potential subsequent lawsuit for the bill, you’ll probably go bankrupt.

Was this a car that you financed from the local lot you bought it from? Were you making weekly payments to a local car sales place?

Please update me on your progress by

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

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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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