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What's a voluntary car repossession?

If you get behind on your car payments, eventually the repo man will come knocking on the door. Actually, he won't knock, he'll just show up with a tow truck and take your car away. Before your bank sends the repossession man, however, it will likely try to reach you on the telephone and ask you to voluntarily surrender your vehicle.

There are numerous reasons why people stop paying their vehicle payments. Sometimes, people just stop paying and wait for the repossession man to arrive, when they will say goodbye to their vehicle forever. Maybe the car owner felt the car was a lemon and they didn't want to pay for it anymore. Maybe the vehicle owner lost his or her job, got a divorce or suffered some other kind of financial trouble that rendered the monthly payments unaffordable.

Getting your car repossessed, unfortunately, will not solve your problems. It will only make them worse. Here's what will happen:

  • The repo man will tow your vehicle to a repossession yard where it will stay for a period of time to give you a chance to reclaim it by paying your unpaid bills.
  • Eventually, your car will get auctioned off.
  • Finally, the bank will add the cost of the auction, legal fees, repossession costs, storage costs and sundry fees to your outstanding loan minus whatever tiny amount of money they received for auctioning off your vehicle.

As you can see, the above scenario isn't a good one. It puts you further into debt than you were before, and you will no longer have a vehicle. If you're in a situation where your car could get repossessed, you might be able to save your car -- and your financial situation -- by filing for bankruptcy. Although bankruptcy isn't for everyone, it has helped numerous King County residents avoid vehicle repossession.

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