I don't want to pay this debt! Can they do anything?

02 Jan I don't want to pay this debt! Can they do anything?

A consumer called me today inquiring as to what would happen if he didn’t pay the deficiency (the amount owed after subtracting the money the creditor received when they sold the vehicle to someone else) owed on a vehicle he had surrendered to the creditor.

I explained the creditor could sue him and obtain a judgment.  Well, he didn’t think this was fair because the creditor refused to amend the contract to payment terms the consumer wanted to pay.  Even though I explained the creditor didn’t have to change the terms and that he still contractually owed the debt, he repeated he didn’t want to pay the debt.

Just because you don’t want to pay a debt doesn’t mean you can just walk away from it.  Creditors do have rights!  In this case, the creditor can sue the client, obtain a judgment, and garnish his bank account.  Walking away from a debt does have consequences!

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Jay S. Fleischman is a bankruptcy lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.
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