Other Considerations

Regarding Surrender of the Primary Residence

You indicated that you wish to surrender or cannot afford to keep your mobile home, house or other real estate. Be aware that there may be other consequences to 'giving up' your property. You may owe the lender or lenders (if more than one mortgage) substantial amounts of money even after foreclosure. This is known as a 'deficiency claim' or debt unless you have a written agreement with the lender stating otherwise. This type of debt is usually dischargeable in a bankruptcy, but check with your attorney to be sure.

Regarding Garnishments

You indicated that you are currently being garnished for something other than child support. A wage garnishment can make it very difficult and sometimes impossible to meet your financial obligations. In general, the only ways to stop a garnishment are to file bankruptcy, or pay the debt in full so that the garnishment stops. Additionally, in some limited cases you or a lawyer might be able to challenge the basis of the garnishment.

Regarding Payday Loans

You indicated that you received a payday loan or pawned property in the last 12 months. Many people wrongly assume that the failure to pay on a payday loan will result in criminal action for writing a 'bad check.' This is usually not true, so seek advice from a legal professional.

Regarding Vehicle Loans

You have indicated that you are behind on a vehicle loan. Some information specific to you is listed below depending upon whether you wish to keep the vehicle or not.

If you want to keep a vehicle on which you are behind in the payments
Be aware that in most states, when you are behind, a lender that has a lien on your vehicle has the right to repossess it (take it) from you without warning and without you being any certain amount of time behind on the loan. Even if someone tells you on the telephone that it is 'okay' so long as you make a certain payment by a certain date, that person may not have the authority or knowledge to make such a promise. The bottom line is that unless you are completely current on your vehicle payment and insurance or you are in a bankruptcy, your car is at risk of being repossessed.

If you do not want to keep a vehicle on which you are behind in payments or cannot afford to keep your vehicle.
You should never drive the vehicle without insurance. If the insurance has expired, make the lender come and pick up the vehicle. Be sure to remove your personal property and the license plate from the vehicle when you give it back. In some states you can turn the license plate into your local office to obtain partial credit on vehicle taxes.

Be aware that in most cases, a car that you surrender to the creditor will be sold in such a way that the lender gets much, much less than the amount of the debt you owed on the vehicle. The lender can then try to collect the remaining debt from you or sue you to collect. In some cases you may be able to make a written agreement with the lender in settlement of the debt remaining after a repossession or voluntary surrender of your vehicle.