If I do not have enough money to pay a deficiency balance, what will happen?
I recently had a vehicle repossessed and sold. The bank sent me a paper work to pay the balance. I cant afford to pay for this. What will happen if I do not live on a fixed income and have a old trailer for a home?
When a vehicle is repossessed, the lender will sell the car at auction and apply the sale price at auction to the amount that you still owe on the original car loan. If the auction does not net enough money to cover the full balance of the note, which it rarely does, then the original borrower (you) would owe the difference, called a deficiency balance, to the lender. The creditor can collect on the deficiency balance like any other unsecured debt, up to and including filing a lawsuit against the borrower. If you have a source of income that is not social security or a federally protected pension the most commons ways a creditor collects on the account are discussed below.
A creditor -- a debt collector that owns a debt account is a creditor -- has several legal means of collecting a debt. But before the creditor can start, the creditor must go to court to receive a judgment. A court (or in some states, a law firm for the plaintiff) is required to notify the debtor of the time and place of the hearing. This notice is called a "summons to appear" or a "summons and complaint." In some jurisdictions, a process server will present the summons personally.
The most common method used by judgment creditors to enforce judgments is wage garnishment, in which a judgment creditor would contact the debtor's employer and require the employer to deduct a certain portion of the debtor's wages each pay period and send the money to the creditor.
Levy bank accounts
A levy means that the creditor has the right to take whatever money in a debtor's account and apply the funds to the balance of the judgment. Again, the procedure for levying bank accounts, as well as what amount, if any, a debtor can claim as exempt from the levy, is governed by state law.
A lien is an encumbrance -- a claim -- on a property. For example, if the debtor owns a home, a creditor with a judgment has the right to place a lien on the home, meaning that if the debtor sells or refinance the home, the debtor will be required to pay the judgment out of the proceeds of the sale or refinance.
I encourage you to visit the Bills.com resource State Consumer Protection Laws and Exemptions to learn about what consumer protection laws may apply to you. Please visit Collections Advice Web page to learn more about what happens when an account goes to collections.
Getting a wage garnishment, levy, or lien takes time, and time to a law firm is money. The law firm may settle for a lump-sum payment. See "Debt Negotiation and Settlement Advice" before opening negotiations with a creditor. See What are my debt resolution options? to learn more about your rights and options for resolving the debt.
I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.
Dealing with debt
Mortgages, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, and auto loans are common types of debts. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q4 2023 was $17.503 trillion. Housing debt totaled $12.612 trillion and non-housing debt was $4.891 trillion.
A significant percentage of people in the US are struggling with monthly payments and about 26% of households in the United States have debt in collections. According to data gathered by Urban.org from a sample of credit reports, the median debt in collections is $1,739. Credit card debt is prevalent and 3% have delinquent or derogatory card debt. The median debt in collections is $422.
Each state has its rate of delinquency and share of debts in collections. For example, in Wisconsin credit card delinquency rate was 2%, and the median credit card debt was $371.
While many households can comfortably pay off their debt, it is clear that many people are struggling with debt. Make sure that you analyze your situation and find the best debt payoff solutions to match your situation.