Q: I’m considering a voluntary repossession of my car? What could happen if I do?
I’m unable to afford the car payment in addition to all my other personal and credit card loans. If I sell/trade my car, I would have about $15,000 negative equity.
In California, if you choose a voluntary repossession, the lender can sell the car, often at an auction. If the sale price doesn't cover the amount you owe, you'll still be responsible for the deficiency, which in your case might increase given the $15,000 negative equity. Lenders can then take legal action to recover the deficiency. Your credit score will likely take a significant hit, which can impact your ability to obtain future loans or credit cards. Furthermore, the repossession will stay on your credit report for seven years.
Before making a decision, consider seeking a renegotiation of your loan terms with your lender or exploring other financial alternatives to manage your debt. Remember, it's essential to fully understand the repercussions before taking action.
A: Bad plan. They will sell it for nothing and get a deficiency judgment against you. Consular a bankruptcy attorney about filing chapter 13 or chapter 7. Voluntary repossession is not the snswer.
Martha Warriner Jarrett agrees with this answer
A: The only way to avoid a deficiency judgement (the difference between what you owe and what the lender sells the car for) is to file bankruptcy. A chapter 7 will discharge all of your unsecured debt, including the deficiency on the car and your credit card debt). If you're not eligible for a chapter 7 (because your income is too high), a chapter 13 will require that you use your net disposable income to pay a portion of what you owe (usually a small amount) over a 3 to 5 year period. Without discharging the deficiency in bankruptcy, you will be stuck with a large deficiency judgment against you.
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