Greensboro, NC asked in Consumer Law and Bankruptcy for North Carolina

Q: My car is collateral for a loan I have with one main financial company. Can I voluntarily surrender the car?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lynn Ellen Coleman
Lynn Ellen Coleman
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: This will have a negative effect on your credit. You can try to voluntarily surrender the car. OneMain is NOT required to take the car in satisfaction of the loan. They can refuse to come pick up the car or take the car. They also don't have to release the lien on the title if they refuse to take the car. Instead, they will report your account as delinquent to the credit bureaus and eventually "charge off" the unpaid balance. Even if they do take the car, they will sell it and if the sale price is not high enough to pay off the loan, you are still responsible for the unpaid balance of the loan. They can sue you and get a judgment for the balance including all of the late fees and added interest. The end result is you will owe a much larger balance and have possession of a car that you can't sell. Even if they do not sue and get a judgment, the negative remarks will remain on your credit report for about 7 and a half years. If you are having financial problems and can no longer afford to make the loan payment, you should have a consultation with a local consumer bankruptcy attorney. He or she will explain all of your options - non bankuptcy options and bankruptcy options. Many offer free consultations.

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