At Risk of Car Repossession in Memphis? Make Sure You’re Informed
As car repossession in Memphis is on the rise, a lot of people face the real possibility of losing their cars in the coming months.
There’s a lot we in Memphis misunderstand about repossession. Learn more about the five most common myths and what they might mean for your situation.
Myth #1: It’s your fault for getting a car you can’t afford.
So often, people assume repossession happens because a low-income individual gets a luxury vehicle for looks or status. They think you should just get a car you can afford, like a cheaper model or a used car.
There’s just one problem with that assumption: Due to shortages, inflation, and other factors, the average cost for a new non-luxury car has hit $47,000. That’s the average cost for a normal, run-of the mill car. Want to save money by buying used? The average cost has hit $33,000.
These numbers aren’t affordable for most of us. But if we need a car to get to work or school, we don’t really have a lot of options. Many Memphis families feel they have no choice but to take out huge monthly payments and try to cut elsewhere.
Myth #2: People who can’t afford a car can/should just use public transportation.
Public transportation is a wonderful option if you can use it. Unfortunately for many people in Memphis, it’s just not practical.
A recent survey showed the majority of Memphians don’t like or trust our public transportation system. 28,000 people use the system every day, but it can take 2-3 hours to get across town. With the way our system currently works, your typical resident couldn’t reasonably get their child to school or attend a doctor appointment and still make it to work in time.
To be able to work a full-time job, take care of a family, and attend to your own immediate needs, most Memphians find a car is a necessity.
Myth #3: Creditors have to tell you if they’re going to take your car.
At our Memphis bankruptcy firm, we hear from people all the time who assumed the banks or car company would have to warn them before taking their car. However, Tennessee law says they don’t have to tell you a thing.
If you’re behind on your payments, the repo agent can come in the night and take your car while you sleep. In addition, they can take it while you’re at work, church, or shopping and leave you stranded.
Instead of a warning, they have to write you after the fact. The letter should detail what they intend to do with the car and outline your rights — but of course, for many people, by that point it’s too late.
Myth #4: You can just hide your car if you don’t want them to take it.
Some people try to avoid repossession by hiding their cars in a garage or a friend’s house. This is a bad idea for a few reasons.
First, you will probably still need to use the car for the reasons mentioned above. You have places to be. If they find it while it’s out of hiding, you could wind up stranded.
Second, if they truly can’t access your car (for example, you’ve locked it in a garage), the creditor can just sue you for it. At that point, you have to comply, or you’ll risk a fine or even imprisonment.
Myth #5: If you want to stop a car repossession in Memphis, negotiating with the creditors or refinancing will usually work.
If you have any bills you can’t pay, of any kind, it’s always good to start by contacting your creditor. Sometimes they’ll work out a payment plan for you or negotiate a better rate over a longer period of time. Sometimes, church groups and non-profits will even help you do this.
However, in reality, this strategy doesn’t often end in success. Creditors don’t have a lot of time or energy to invest in helping you pay back your bills. The billing offices tend to be overworked and underpaid, and as a result, sometimes pretty impatient and stubborn.
And it’s even harder with car payments. With prices this high and a massive shortage in new and used vehicles, they would love to have your car back. The big auto loan creditors know they could make a lot more from reselling your car back in their lot than they will waiting for you to be able to pay.
Get Real Help and Stop Your Memphis Car Repossession
If you need to stop a car repossession in Memphis, you’ve come to the right place. For decades, we’ve helped thousands of Memphians keep their cars and get a fresh start.
And because they’ve kept their cars, those people also were able to keep their jobs, stay in school, and do all the other things that come with the freedom of having four wheels.
Maybe that’s your situation, too. If you’re worried what might happen if you lose your car, contact us today at 901-327-2100 or use the form below. The conversation is completely free.
Get some peace of mind and contact us today. We look forward to speaking with you.