I haven't heard from my car lender since it repo'd my car a month ago. What should I do?

Here's what to do if you haven't heard from the lender after it repossessed your car or other vehicle.

If your car lender repossessed your car, and you haven't gotten any notices from it for some time, you have several options. What you should do depends on whether or not you want the car back. Here is a rundown of potential scenarios and what you should do.

You Want The Car Back

You can get the car back if you redeem or (in some instances) reinstate the car loan. Or you may wish to participate in the auction and bid on the car. (To learn more about these options, see Getting Your Car Back After Repossession.) Obviously, you can't do these things if the car is sold without notice. If the bank hasn't sent you any notices since it repossessed the car, then it either sold the car without giving you notice or it hasn't sold the car. At least not yet.

Either way, don't wait any longer. Contact the creditor right away and find out what it intends to do with the car. You should also request that the lender provide you with information about the sale (if it's being sold) and what you need to do to reinstate or redeem the car loan. Ask for an a statement that includes a breakdown of what you must pay and how payment should be made.

If the lender sold the car without giving you notice, then you can raise this as a defense if it tries to get a deficiency judgment against you later. See, Defenses to Car Repo Deficiency Lawsuits.

You Do Not Want the Car

If you don't want the car back, then you are probably wondering if you still have to pay the car loan. If you have not heard from the lender, then it is possible that it intends to keep the car as satisfaction for the debt. The creditor is usually supposed to give you notice if it intends to do that. If the creditor keeps the car but then sues you on the balance of the note, you can raise this as a defense. (To learn more, see If the bank doesn't sell my car after repo, do I still have to repay the loan?)

Just because the bank has not sent you any notices doesn't mean you are in the clear. While the back is supposed to send you the notice of sale, sometimes the lender fails to do so (or sends it to the wrong address), and then still sues you for a deficiency. If this happens, don't ignore the lawsuit. Instead, raise the bank's failure to follow notice procedure as a defense to the deficiency lawsuit. If you can prove that the bank did not give you notice of the sale, then the court may refuse to grant it a deficiency judgment. See, Defenses to Car Repo Deficiency Lawsuits.

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