Mason, MI asked in Consumer Law for Michigan

Q: Looking for a lawyer interested in taking on a pro bono case to defend against lawsuit from Ford, any suggestions?

My son's leased truck was repossessed a few months ago for two missed payments. Ford was unwilling to let my son make the payments and stood firm on the repossession. They have since sold the truck and are suing my son for $8000, the difference between what they say is the value of the truck and what they received when they sold it. Can you really be sued for a leased vehicle that they repossessed because they didn't get the value they wanted?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: In short, yes. An automobile lessor can sue for a deficiency judgment under the lease. If it's in the contract, then that money can be collected in court. If your son wishes to contest the lawsuit, he would need to be able to articulate why he shouldn't be liable to the lessor. Does he have any defenses to the contract? Is he alleging that the repo sale of the truck wasn't conducted in a commercially reasonable manner? Vehicle lessors like Ford are familiar with the law and procedures for these situations, so it would be unusual for a lessor of their stature to have done something they weren't allowed to do under the contract or law.

If your son does not have a defense, then he might consider offering to settle. Sometimes a creditor will accept less to settle, if it means not having to use legal process to collect the debt. Or, if settlement is not possible or your son cannot afford to settle, your son might consider exploring bankruptcy. If your son is indigent, then maybe he can work with a low-income legal services clinic in the area where he lives. Look in the phone book or on the Michigan State Bar website. Otherwise, your son should expect that an attorney will want to be paid for his or her work.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards, such as this one.

Brent T. Geers agrees with this answer

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