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Debtors Who Dodge Repos - How Does the Story End?

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There are a number of threads on here where debtors have successfully dodged the repo man when a car loan goes bad. They wind up with a junker sitting somewhere that they don't want and that can't be registered.

Inevitably some parent or sibling or child on whose property or in whose garage the thing sits will want it gone. Leaving it someplace is likely to cause the debtor to incur storage charges (although in Florida there are nice sinkholes here and there where the sheriff's department does send divers to read VINs from time to time but the storage problem is obviated).

I have typically suggested calling around to junkyards to see if they have some paperwork maven who knows how to clear things up and be rid of the car and if that doesn't work hiring an attorney.

But we never seem to get the rest of the story ... does anyone know the solution or the repercussions and whether they can be avoided by some means or another?

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I have typically suggested calling around to junkyards to see if they have some paperwork maven who knows how to clear things up

I left Florida in 2003, so things might have changed but one of the largest salvage yards in the area, Copher Brothers, would not take a junk car unless you had the title.

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One thought that occurs to me would be dropping the thing off in the lienholder's parking lot with a large, unmistakable sign indicating that the lienholder owns it... Just a thought, though. And not terribly practical if the lienholder vanished four bank mergers ago (unless you want to detail the mergers on the sign too).

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When I was in school (GO GATORS!) my bicycle was stolen. I called the Gainesville PD and reported it. They said thank you for calling it in and please give your insurance company this theft report number. I asked when can I expect someone out? They told me that no one will be coming out.

My first thought was that I could have done this months ago and still have my bike. A few days later I got my check for 750 bucks.

Just another of those things that make you go "Hmmmmm".

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When I was in school (GO GATORS!) my bicycle was stolen.

DId you think to cruise around Porter's Quarters?

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IMO, if you can dodge them long enough, and the OC CO's the debt and sells it to a JDB then you should have a clean title to work with.

The OC would no longer hold valid or leagle interest in the title once the account was sold......if the DMV still shows lein in effect then you could go after the OC to have it removed as you no longer owe the OC anything.

It would seem the JDB who bought the CO could not effect the title in anyway as they bought only distressed paper without lein rights.

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I've talked to a few people who dodged the repo man - and the debt is in collections. Not sure how that happens, but it does.

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I've talked to a few people who dodged the repo man - and the debt is in collections. Not sure how that happens, but it does.

So what happens to that Plymouth Cricket, Renault LeCar, Yugo GV, or Daewoo Lanos?

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Ok firstly, the lienholder doesn't OWN the vehicle. The consumer does. The Title is in the consumer's name. The lienholder simply has a security interest in the vehicle. The Title is usually held by the lienholder (most States) only to prevent sale of the vehicle until the lien is satisfied.

If a consumer abandons the vehicle anywhere the consumer is still responsible for it legally. If harm is caused to someone else by the abandoned vehicle (injury, pollution, etc) then the registered owner gets the hit.

What you need to do to properly dispose of a vehicle that the lienholder has abandoned interest in is to apply for a clean Title with the State department of motor vehicles. The DMV will check to see if the lienholder still wants to enforce their claim. If the lienholder doesn't respond in a timely manner then the DMV issues a clear Title on the vehicle to the consumer.

If the lienholder wants to enforce their claim, then you have to tell them to pick up the vehicle.

One last thing. If you bankrupted the loan securing the vehicle and the lender doesn't pick up (or refuses to pick up) the vehicle when you tell them to come get it, then that has been determined to be a violation of the bankruptcy injunction because it causes the debtor to incur expenses post-discharge in order to abandon their interest in the vehicle.

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Supposed I followed the steps and the lienholder says: I want my money!!

I call them and they actually pick up the car. How do I pay? Do they have debt settlements for that? Are they going to hurt your credit again even though they reported that account as charged off many years ago and that account was removed from your credit reports years ago? It will appear as a brand new REPO?

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Supposed I followed the steps and the lienholder says: I want my money!!

I call them and they actually pick up the car. How do I pay? Do they have debt settlements for that? Are they going to hurt your credit again even though they reported that account as charged off many years ago and that account was removed from your credit reports years ago? It will appear as a brand new REPO?

I think you have to steel yourself for the possibility that there could be consequences for moving now to resolve the situation. The key is to correctly anticipate and manage (and possibly head off) the consequences.

If you can't find a paperwork maven to help you at one of the local junkyards, then you need to get in touch with the motor vehicle department and make application for the title. If that shakes a lienholder out of the tree, then you need to come back here and look for help in dealing with the lienholder. Regardless of what happens after that, settlement is always possible.

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Supposed I followed the steps and the lienholder says: I want my money!!

I call them and they actually pick up the car. How do I pay? Do they have debt settlements for that? Are they going to hurt your credit again even though they reported that account as charged off many years ago and that account was removed from your credit reports years ago? It will appear as a brand new REPO?

The collateral is their interest. A deficiency depends upon the circumstances. If the loan was bankrupted then the lender gets nothing and can enforce no deficiency claim. If it was charged off to profit and loss and the statute of limitations for written contracts is expired, the lender gets nothing and you have an affirmative defense to any deficiency claim. If the SoL is not expired, you still have several defenses including estoppel since they had a fiduciary duty to reposess the vehicle when it still had a higher value and failed to do so; therefore you may not be held responsible for any deficiency claim due to their lack of action.

The Uniform Commercial Code also has several provisions about the enforcability of a deficiency claim including a very low 2 year Statute of Limtiations governing the enforcement of deficiency balances.

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The Uniform Commercial Code also has several provisions about the enforcability of a deficiency claim including a very low 2 year Statute of Limtiations governing the enforcement of deficiency balances.

Puerto Rico's got the UCC, so no worries on that front.

But the UCC does tend to make SOLs of its various articles the last section, so that states can lop it off if their SOL scheme is elsewhere in the statutes. So you have to keep in mind that the 2 years may not apply.

In any case, my guess would be that the effort is worth the risk, which is small.

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UCC : I would like to read the small letters.

Also, it would make any difference the fact that I moved from PR 3 years ago?

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When the Bank reports to the DMV, can they report the car as "stolen", or, they can only report a lien on that car?

I just talked with the DMV in Puerto Rico and they said that either I reported the car stolen or the police reported the car because did not have the tag and/or decal. None of that happened, so did the Bank reported stolen? Can they do that? She advised me to go to the DMV Dept of "Stolen" Vehicles and identify myself and maybe bring the tag of the car and tell them that the car is mine and ask them to remove the "Police Lien" on the car. She did not mention the Bank. Maybe the Bank asked the Police to do that? What do you think?

THANK YOU GUYS, YOUR HELP IS PRICELESS!!!

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If the lender reported the car stolen they are in deep doo-doo. Filing a false police report is a felony.

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I might have the copy of the DMV print out. The word she (DMV lady) used was "dissapeared" and she said it was the police who put that on the car. I dont know if that would make the difference. Guess that if the bank alleged that they could not find me and repo the car that would allow them to reported stolen/dissapeared to the police and then the police notified the DMV?? I am truly confused.

I will look for the docs today

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Straightforwardly, here are the two concerns I have. The first is that there might be an existing warrant that could create a problem where the OP lives now (Florida?). This is probably not that big a concern, I just wanted to make sure it was out there as something slightly more than just a free-floating anxiety.

The second is that law enforcement agencies are very casual in how they coax in people who they want to have show up so they can be arrested. It often doesn't make sense to "go down and clear things up" at the station unless you happen to have your toothbrush with you.

An attorney down in PR could help find out what you're looking at. When police are involved and you're not the complainant, a lawyer can be worth his weight in gold.

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This is not a police matter, it is strickly a civil matter, the car was not stolen, it did not dissapear, the bank had a right to repo and failed.

It may be that the OC sold the account to a JDB. If that is the case the OC has no further rights and the JDB has no right of title lein.

First check and see if a lien is still reported on the title.......if not then why worry as you have clean title.

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Remember also we're dealing with Puerto Rico, where there may be a good bit of law that is not derived from English common law. I frankly don't know what that means to a disappointed creditor whose collateral went missing, but I wouldn't be trying to assume that the creditor faces the same hurdles they would in the states with respect to getting the criminal justice system involved.

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DMV lady said to go clear things up that the car is not stolen and then with that removed from the tag I can apply for the clean title. She said that what it appears in the DMV system was posted by the police not the bank.

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I will keep you posted. At this point I will try to get a lawyer and if I am not on a risk to be arrested I will folllow the DMV advise.

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Not for nothing, but if you participated in no criminal activity, why spend money on a lawyer just to pal around with you?

If you didn't do anything wrong, I would just show up to the police station. Then if the police arrest you for whatever reason or even if they want to question you, you invoke your right to be silent and your right to an attorney. Even in PR, they have to Mirandize you. Once you say the magic word "lawyer", they have to ST(x)U and leave you alone until your attorney comes...oh sure they will book you and send you to a nasty jail....but if you did nothing wrong, nothing bad will happen to you.

So rather than have an attorney come with you, just have his number handy in case you need it.

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