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Can I keep my car loan out of my Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? – Alabama Bankruptcy Attorney Judson E. Crump

 I’m going to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, but I don’t want to include my car.  Can I do that? No.  At least, not unless you have a really compelling reason to do so.  I’ll tell you why in a minute.  But first, let’s talk about some definitions.  As a lawyer, […]


Opening Credits, the Q & A section of Creditcards.com, recently interviewed me about the law in Alabama as applied to minors who obtain credit cards in their own names.

Ms. Erica Sandberg writes a periodic advice column on the popular credit advice website CreditCards.com.  One of her readers had a question about the enforceability of a credit card contract entered into by a minor.  In Alabama, minority is a defense to a breach of contract lawsuit.  To enforce a contract, the creditor must show that there was an offer, an acceptance of that offer, consideration exchanged, capacity, and legality.  The age of the person entering the contract can create an issue regarding the person’s capacity to enter into a contract.  The general rule in Alabama is that contracts entered into by minors are voidable.  See Ex Parte Odem, 537 So.2d 919 (Ala. 1988).  This means that they aren’t automatically invalid, but the minor cannot be compelled to perform their obligations under the contract if they do not choose to do so.

This includes contracts for the extension of credit, such as a credit card.  In other words, if a lender is dumb enough to lend money to someone who isn’t old enough to enter a contract, the law doesn’t have much sympathy for them.  That’s why so many student loans are co-signed by parents or spouses.

Keep in mind, however, that lying on a credit application about your age or income can be considered fraud, and that could create a separate route for a creditor to take legal action against you.  Though to be honest, in hundreds of debt collection cases I’ve dealt with, I have never seen a credit card company or debt collector sue for fraud on a credit application.

The original Creditcards.com article can be found here:

https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/can-minor-be-sued-for-defaulted-card-debt.php


What is a YoYo Sale? – Alabama Consumer Fraud Lawyer Judson E. Crump

You go to a car lot and apply for financing to buy a car.  “Congratulations!” they say.  “You’re Approved.”  So you sign the contract and drive off in the car.  Only later do you discover that you were not, in truth, approved.  Your “approval” has been yanked, and now they’re […]


Buy-Here-Pay-Here Repossessions – Alabama Consumer Rights Lawyer Judson E. Crump

Has your vehicle been repossessed by a Buy-Here-Pay-Here dealership?

Repossessions are hard on folks.  You’ve lost your car.  You’ve lost the money that you’ve put into it.  Your credit has taken a hit.  Maybe your neighbors or co-workers witnessed the whole thing and it’s embarrassing.  Simply getting a car repossessed is hard enough.  But sometimes dealers and repo companies make it worse by not respecting your rights during and after the repossession.

Know your rights after a Repo!

Contrary to what the car sales and finance industries would have you believe, you have certain rights when your car has been repossessed.  You have the right to be notified of what they’re going to do with your car, and you have the right to redeem it if you can afford it.  If they sell your car, they can’t profit from the sale of your vehicle.

That’s right.  If a car dealer or finance company sells your car, they can’t keep any money they make over the balance due on the vehicle.

Here’s an example:

You buy a car whose cash price is $10,000 with $600 of taxes and fees.  So the total price is $10,600.

You pay a $2,000 down payment and agree to $300/month for 48 months.  So the amount financed is $8,600.

After paying for 6 months, you miss a payment and the car gets repossessed.  At the time of the repo, the balance due on the car is $8,200, and the creditor paid the repo man $300 to repo the car.  Your balance is now $8,500.

The creditor sells the car.  If the creditor sells the car for $8,000, then you owe  $500.  [$8,500 – $8,000 = $500].

However, if the creditor sells the car for $9,000, then the dealer owes you $500.  [$8,500 – (-$9,000) = -$500].

This seems like common sense, right?  But believe it or not, used car dealerships break this rule all the time.

Small used car dealers and buy-here-pay-here dealerships usually don’t sell their repossessed vehicles at an auction.  Rather, they put them back on their lot and sell them to another customer.  So if you paid $2000 down on a $10,000 car that was repossessed 6 months later, it is extremely unlikely that the car has lost $2,000 in value during that time.  But when they go to sell the car to another customer, they want to make as much money as possible by selling it for as much as they can.  If they sell it for more than the amount you owe at the time it was repossessed, then they have to pay you the money they made off the second sale.

Now, it’s very hard to determine the price they got for a vehicle.  That’s why you call a lawyer who knows how to handle these sorts of cases.

If you’ve had a car that has been repossessed and sold from the same lot that repossessed your car, call a knowledgeable Alabama consumer rights lawyer to see what you can do about it.


Are you in the Equifax Data Breach? DO NOT sign up with their website!! – Alabama Credit Reporting Attorney Judson E. Crump

Equifaxsecurity2017.com was created by Equifax in response to the hack.  But asking for their help requires you to waive your rights to sue them.  Don’t fall for it. When the news broke that Equifax had let the personal information of millions of Americans get stolen by hackers, the giant data […]


“Asset Recovery Associates” sued for FDCPA and Fair Credit Violations

Financial Credit Service, Inc., also known as “Asset Recovery Associates, Inc.” has been sued in Alabama for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act. Our client is a recently retired docks worker.  He has good credit, good income, and has made it a practice of […]


The Apple Warranty – Alabama Consumer Rights Lawyer Judson E. Crump

iPhones, iPods, and MacBooks are Super Expensive.  What do you do when they fail? As we all know, Apple products are more expensive than their Android counterparts, due to the panache and trendy image that Apple has managed to cultivate among consumers.  And to be fair, Apple products are usually […]