How canI change or re-negotiate the terms with the bank that owns my car?

UPDATED: Jul 18, 2011

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How canI change or re-negotiate the terms with the bank that owns my car?

I have been unemployed for a long time now, and no longer have side jobs to sustain myself. For several months I have not been able to pay many bills including my car. They said that they could help with 3 months of it, since then (2-3 months) I have yet to find work and now it seems that I owe more than $5,000 on top of what it was. I will never be able to start paying it off owing an extra $1,000 a month with incurring interest.

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can try to negotiate by showing the bank what you are earning, what your irreducible costs are, what your assets are, what you can afford to pay, etc., and demonstrating to the bank that you cannot pay the full amount and/or according to the current schedule. You have to try to convince the bank that ultimately it will get as much or more by working with you than by taking a hard line, forcing you into default, and foreclosing and/or suing you.

If you mean can you force the bank to negotiate or change its stance--no, you do not have that right. Any change in the terms of the loan or financing must be voluntary. Since bankruptcy may be a good option for you--and you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to investigate it in detail--it may be that you can sue the threat of bankruptcy to gain "leverage" in your negotiations, but only do this if it is an option you are legitimately considering.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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