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I’m Unemployed, Widowed, and Being Chased for Taxes and a Repossession

By on August 4, 2016

Question:

Dear Steve,

I had to purchase another car in 2014 since the car I owned had expired due to maintenance issues.

I lost my job unexpectantly after 9 years in February 2015. I immediately called the Finance Company which held the loan on my car. I let them know I could not pay the 470.00 a month they were charging me for the car loan. I explained I would be on unemployment and was paying 860.00 a month for my apartment alone.

I started sending them 250.00 dollars a month but with insurance, rent, groceries, utilities and phones I could not maintain. After 6 months my unemployment ran out and I then started to receive widows benefits at 1547.00 a month more than 300.00 LESS than unemployment.

At that point the finance company ceased to send a monthly bill of any kind. I then found out the had given orders to repossess my vehicle in November of 2015. They did repossess the vehicle in June 27th of this year.

They just sent me a letter asking me for over 10 thousand dollars saying its the difference between what I financed minus what they sold it for. I have never had a repossession and I feel like they have the car and that should be the end of it.

BTW I am a senior citizen with no way to rebuild any savings or credit. No one to borrow the money from. Plus any money from the IRS in refunds goes directly to them since I’m considered uncollectible for back taxes.

What do I need to do to stop any further action by the finance company?

Antoinette

Answer:

Dear Antoinette,

The good news is there is a good solution here.

The lender came after you for the balance due after the sale of your vehicle. They can absolutely do that and it is the normal course of these things.

But you also mentioned back taxes.

This leads me to wonder if a consumer bankruptcy isn’t a good idea to explore. If you did decide to file bankruptcy it would stop the potential lawsuit and judgment by the lender. And while you might be “judgment proof” on that debt alone, based on your benefit income, there is the tax issue.

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There are two ways to avoid having your taxes intercepted. The first is to adjust your withholdings so you get more each month and don’t get a refund. The second would be to eliminate tax obligations more than three years old in a bankruptcy.

So based on that, I would urge you to find a local bankruptcy attorney and go have a chat with them. Talking to an attorney does not mean you are filing bankruptcy. It does mean you are trying to better educate yourself on what your options are.

After you talk to the bankruptcy attorney, come back and update me in the comments section.

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About 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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