A word of warning:
If you are facing repossession of an automobile in NJ, and intend to voluntarily “surrender” the vehicle to the fianance company rather than have it hooked in the middle of the night by the “repo man”, make sure to get in writing from the finance company a “waiver of deficiency judgment” BEFORE you surrender the vehicle and fork over the car keys!
I have lately had several clients retain me after being sued by Americredit Financial Services, which is a company affiliated with GM Financial. Apothaker & Associates are now representing Americredit on many NJ automobile repossession cases, and filing suits on auto loans for surrendered vehicles in NJ Special Civil Part.
You see, when a car is repossessed, the finance company typically sells it at an auction. The winning bidder is usually a used-car dealer. Since used car dealers only pay wholesale prices, your repossessed vehicle usually sells for far below “blue book” value, and often well below what you still owe on the car loan.
Lenders like Americredit then file suit against you for the difference between the amount owed on the loan at the time of repossession, less the price they received for the vehicle at the auction. Clients have told me that they have been assured on the phone that “no lawsuit will be filed” if the car brings less at auction than the amount due, and then been stunned months later when a lawsuit from Apothaker or another NJ collections firm arrives via certified mail.
The good news is that there are numerous defenses to these “auto loan deficiency” actions. For starters, the plaintiff must prove that the price obtained for the vehicle at auction was reasonable. They also must show proof of compliance with numerous complex notification provisions of the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code). In my experience, the lenders often cannot prove full compliance with the provisions of the UCC, and as a result their cases get dismissed.
These lawsuits typically seek large sums of money- often in excess of $5000 dollars. Your best defense is an attorney skilled in consumer law, debt defense, and the “obscure” provisions of the Uniform Commerical Code that govern these transactions. We fight these cases zealously, and often obtain complete dismissals for our clients.
Attorney Scott Bullock has the experience, dedication, and aggressiveness needed to defend these cases. Call today at 908-782-5313 for a FREE consultation about your NJ car repossession lawsuit.
UPDATE- Check out this interesting article on the GM subprime auto mess from zerohedge: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-01/ltv-137-unprecedented-development-lenders-now-take-record-losses-every-used-car-loan