Deficiency Balances on Repossessed Vehicles

Vehicle and Car Repossessions in Georgia.  Deficiencies occur on repossessed vehicles when the creditor auctions the vehicle off for less than what you owe.  Many of our clients are surprised or confused how creditors can even do this.  For example, if you owe $10,000 on the vehicle and after a repossession the creditor sells it for $6,000, that creditor may pursue you for the other $4,000.  In reality, after adding in costs, attorney’s fees, and interest, the deficiency balance can be equal to or even exceed the original debt!  Often the deficiency claim is sold or assigned to a collection agency or collection attorney who then files a lawsuit, which a former local car lot called Nice Cars has done.

This situation can cause an extreme amount of financial stress on a typical family.  In addition to losing access to your car or truck, you find yourself facing a lawsuit for thousands of dollars.  The amount the creditor claims you owe is often alarmingly high.  This is because creditors get bottom dollar for your vehicle and pile on attorneys fees, penalties, and interest to your balance.  The result is that the deficiency balance is often close to how much you owed on the vehicle, except now instead of paying for a vehicle, the creditor expects you to pay for nothing!

At Hurtt & Johnson, we have successfully defended many deficiency balance lawsuits and in some cases, we have even recovered damages from the creditor.  There are several common ways to defeat these lawsuits, including evidence of an unlawful repossession or automatic shutdown device, inadequate auction price or other evidence of an unreasonable sale, and improper notification or procedure.  Every case is different and we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your legal rights.