Keri, I suggest you think long and hard before you let it go back. The results are not nice at all on your credit rating. Read your contract where it mentions "deficency balance". Chances are that you will be responsible for any amount owed after the car is sold. If the payments are toooo high, ask the lender if they will lower the interst rate. If you have lost income but expect to regain it, ask the lender to defer a payment to the end of the loan. If you cant do anything else, try to sell the car yourself. You will get more for it than the lender will at auction.
I totally agree with the above answer. Repossession should be the absolute last resort. A repossession is a repossession. The only difference in voluntary and non voluntary is that you will not have to pay the repossession fees. This will stay on your credit report for 7 years and will cost you dearly. Sit down with the creditor and work this out. Like the above answer sell the car yourself or see if you can get someone to take over the payments. Do not allow the car to be repossessed. This may seem like the easy way out, but in the end it is the hard way out.
Any repossession will negatively impact your credit. Organizations using the credit report do not differentiate between voluntary and non-voluntary. Rather, the organizations see that you were not responsible with credit and what you purchasd needed to be taken away. Generically, a repossession is considered the same as a chargeoff or writeoff, so the impact on the credit score may be anywhere from 50 to 200 points, depending on one's personal credit situation.
Under US law as I understand it, any repossession is detrimental to your credit record. Both a voluntary repossession or a standard repossession have the same effect on your credit rating. Both will appear as repossessions, and either will result in a negative mark on your credit history. Any repossession will appear on a credit report for 7.5 years from the date of first delinquency. You will likely see your credit score drop significantly, as having a repossession in your credit history marks you as a credit risk. The only advantage that I see in doing a 'voluntary' repossession is that it may cost you less in legal fees. In general, I would encourage you to work with the lender to find ways of keeping your home and coming to some kind of agreement on reduced monthly payments, or even weekly payments which will involve a lower interest rate. Good luck with it.
The effect on your credit will depend on how the lender chooses to report it to the credit bureau. Sometimes a lender will be willing to report it 'paid as agreed' or 'settled' entry on the credit report rather than an actual repossession. If it is reported as an actual repossession or foreclosure it will be on your credit for seven years and negatively effect your rating.
The second to last sentence should read - Never will a voluntary repossession cost you MORE than a forced repossession. A repo is a repo. Voluntary Repos will, in most cases, save you money due to the cut in fees associated with the repossession. In some cases these fees will not be any less and the cost of a voluntary repo and the cost of a forced repo are the same. Never will a voluntary repossession cost you less than a forced repossession. Either way, voluntary repossession is the decision I would make, due to the possibility of a lesser cost.
Yes, a voluntary foreclosure (deed in lieu of such) is a foreclosure just as a voluntary repossession of a vehicle is a repossession. All the same penalties/fees, recovery of debt laws apply and the information entered on the debtor's credit report will be as a foreclosure regardless of the circumstances involved.
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