Articles Tagged with Repossession

Many Americans are asking lately “What if I can’t pay my car loan?” First of all, you’re not alone in the struggle. If you’ve missed car payment or two recently – or worry you might miss one soon – you have options. Typically, missing a car payment will damage your credit score or even lead to your lender repossessing your vehicle. However, most lenders have some type of financial hardship program if you ask for help.  You do have to ask though. And ask ahead of missing a payment, if at all possible.  The worst thing you can do is to ignore the situation and hope it’ll work out on its own in time.  Here’s a look at some options & resources that might help you deal with your car payment.

First, see what assistance your lender has to offer

Find out what kind of programs your bank, credit union or other auto loan lender has available.  Also, get familiar with Mississippi Repossession Laws to know what can and cannot be done. Most of the automakers no longer advertise their payment relief programs. If you are facing missing a payment due to a job loss (from the pandemic or whatever other reason), the best thing to do is to contact your lender. Explain your situation, and hopefully they may be able to offer some short term assistance like a payment deferral, a partial payment option or a lease extension.

Mississippi Repossession Law allows “self-help” repossession. It states that your possessions can be repossessed under the following conditions:

  • You signed an agreement and used the property as collateral for the loan.
  • You failed to honor the terms of the loan agreement (note: the property may be put up for repossession immediately).

I have found it helpful to share this checklist with people who call asking me “Should I file bankruptcy?” In a nutshell, if more than two of the following issues apply to you, it is possible that bankruptcy would be an option worth investigating further:

  • Debt collectors are calling you at home or at work.
  • You are utilizing payday loans to make ends meet.
  • Your wages will soon be garnished or are being garnished now.
  • Your bank account has been frozen.
  • The majority of what you owe is unsecured debt like credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc.
  • Your facing the threat of foreclose on your home.
  • The foreclosure process on your home has already started.
  • Your facing possible repossession of your vehicle.
  • You have had a vehicle repossessed.
  • You want to give up your house or vehicle and walk away without owing any money.
  • Your bill payments are more than 30 days behind.
  • You have been sued or are being sued over debt.
  • You have a significant amount of medical debt that will not be covered by insurance.
  • You have medical insurance but can’t afford to pay your share of the bills.
  • You owe income taxes that you cannot afford to pay.
  • Your total debts (other than house & car) are more than you could pay and still live, even over five or more years
  • You have high student loan deb, cannot defer payment any longer, and the notes are more than you can pay

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VehiclesYes and No.  In most cases as long as you are up to date on your vehicle payments you can “reaffirm” the debt and keep your vehicle. The finance company has to agree to allow you to keep the vehicle and they will always agree if you are current.

If you are not current, the bankruptcy filing protects the vehicle from being repossessed and this could give you the time you need to get caught up. Most finance companies do not want the vehicle back, so if you are a behind they will give you a chance to catch up or they can redo your payments. The most important thing is to file the bankruptcy as soon as possible so they don’t repossess the vehicle. They hardly ever negotiate before you file the bankruptcy because they don’t believe you will actually file. After you file and they are faced with getting no money and maybe having to take the vehicle back, they can be more lenient and easier to deal with.


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