If my personal vehicle was taken to satisfy a judgment and it is being financed, can the sheriff auction this car to pay a debt?

My original debt was charged off in 2005 or 2006. Since that time the bad debt has been bought and sold by various collection agencies. In 10/10 I was served with the judgement notice and given a chance to claim exempt property. Admittedly I was confused by the wording and couldn’t afford a lawyer so I missed the filing date. Now that the car is taken and in storage until auction. Is there a way to get it back? Was it OK for them to take a financed car? Can the financed car be sold from under me?

Asked on March 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

So now it is time to get a lawyer.  Can the Sheriff take personal property to sell and satisfy a lien?  Yes, generally they can.  That car, though, is security for a loan and the loan on the car should be primary when the car is sold.  The remaining amount then goes to the other creditor and then, if there is any left over, the rest to you.  Really, you need to get a lawyer involved in all of this.  There is I am sure a way for you to satisfy the judgement that the taking was based upon and get the car back but you will need help negotiating everything.  Good luck.


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