What are my son’s options if he was summoned to appear in court for the repossession of his automobile? - Debt Resolution Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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What are my son’s options if he was summoned to appear in court for the repossession of his automobile?

My son lost his auto by repossession. He was summoned to appear in court in July 2014. He lost this due to his illness (melanoma cancer) has no job or any income at this time, however he is trying to get disability. What are his options?

Answer By Lehn Law, PA
Joseph Lehn, Esq
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An answer to the Complaint must be filed to avoid a default judgment. You must file an answer to protect your rights.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/16/2014

Answer By Darren Aronow
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
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He can file bankruptcy to get rid of the debt but he may also be un-collectable if he has no income or assets.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/14/2014

Answer By Mark D. Keyl

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He has lost his car. He really cannot do much except focus on his health.

Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 5/10/2014

Answer By James T. Weiner
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
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Talk to a bankruptcy attorney.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/9/2014

Answer By Richard F. Rice

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Immediately contact an attorney.

Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/8/2014

Answer By Steve Freeborn
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
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It sounds to me what they are doing is trying to establish a deficiency judgment. What this means is: Say your son owes $10,000.00 on the auto loan. They repossess the car because he can't pay and they re-sell the car but can only get $7,000.00 for the vehicle. This means that your son would owe the difference = $3,000.00. Depending upon what his other finances look like, he may want to consider a bankruptcy filing.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/8/2014


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File an answer or let them get a default against him. He is essentially judgment proof in any event. He could also file bankruptcy.

Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/8/2014

Answer By Peter M. Lively
Law Office of Peter M. Lively
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The facts are not clear. Do you mean that he was served with a summons and complaint? If so, then he should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer who also handles civil defense cases to determine his best options.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/8/2014

Answer By Joseph Schramm

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I am sorry to hear about your son's serious illness. He definitely has more on his mind than the loss of his car. Generally, if a person defaults on their car payments, the financing contract permits the lending company to seize the car and to sell it at a public auction. These auctions are often attended by used car dealers and others looking to obtain a car at a cheap price. Consequently, the cars often sell for much less than the outstanding balance of the car loan. To try to recoup this difference the lender then files a suit against the borrower/former owner of the car. It appears that this is what has happened in your son's case. Your son should have also received a copy of a complaint filed by the lender which will allege that your son breached a contract with the company by not making the payments. Usually there is no defense on the merits that the former owner can make because their failure to make the payments is the basis of the suit. Generally, the defendant can appear to challenge the amount of money received for the car at auction, especially if they know that the car sold for more than is being alleged by the lending company. Once the lender obtains a judgment he is free to use the court system to enforce that judgment . This is usually done by sending out the county sheriff to seize any assets the defendant may own and to sell them at a sheriff's sale to try to satisfy the judgment . If the defendant has no assets the judgment will be unenforceable. Under Pennsylvania law the sheriff is not permitted to attach any money that is social security benefits, whether old age retirement or disability. Your son should worry about taking care of his health first and getting his disability benefits if he can. If he fails to answer the complaint which probably came with the summons the lender will eventually enter a judgment against him by default for failure to file a responsive pleading. If your son has no assets such as a bank account, stocks & bonds or ownership of a house that is mortgage free then he probably will not have to worry about any enforcement of the judgment against him during the course of his treatment. However, the judgment will remain on the books, gathering interest and when your son recovers, the judgment could still pose a long-term problem if he wishes to purchase another car or a house. However, for the short-term, he should focus on getting well. He should also check to see what the selling price of the car was at auction and compare it with the amount claimed on the complaint.

Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/8/2014

Stacy Joel Safion, Esq.
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Bankruptcy or a payment plan.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/8/2014

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