Legally, unless stated otherwise in the fine print of your purchase contract (ALWAYS read the fine print!), once a person sells the car to a dealer
with express contractual obligations to pay off the debt still owed on said car, they are off the hook legally.
That said, I have in the past two years received several calls from collection agencies stating I owed a debt that was never made. I have been
harassed, threatened with repossession (of something I did not have
), my credit score threatened, and even threatened with court action.
I am not the victim of identity theft. Every single one of these attempts was by some fly-by-night company (normally a subsidiary of a larger
'reputable' firm, protected from their action by legal disclaimers) simply trying to collect debts that were not owed. The first one worried me, and
I had some friends in the legal profession check it out for me. That's how I found out what was going on.
Now my response is "Please, go ahead. I will see you in court in my jurisdiction." If they continue to harass me, I block their number and call the
phone company to lodge a harassment complaint.
Point is, even if they have no legal basis to go after you for the debt, they may well still try to bully you into paying it. There are clear and
precise legal restrictions on what collection agencies/debt holders may and may not do, and how to protect yourself should you dispute a claimed debt.
Most people do not know about these procedures, and they will pay the bill, owed or not, just because they think they have to. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO
PAY A DEBT YOU DO NOT OWE!
Consult either an attorney or someone who works in collections or a credit repair agency to find out the ins and outs
of your rights. Also, check the Internet for complaints. I found plenty in a few moments of searching.
I have to admit it is easy for me to identify what I actually owe and what I do not. I own my home free and clear. Yeah, it's an old trailer, but it
keep the rain off me and a bit of protection from the temperatures. I own all four of my vehicles, a Chevy conversion van (needs a transmission, but i
will not sell it for scrap iron), an Isuzu Rodeo (gotta fix the steering this spring), a Chevy Silverado pickup (runs great, but likes gas) and a
Chevy LUV pickup (for most travel). Nope, they're not new, not shiny (well, the Chevy pickup is a little shiny
) and sleek, but they get me where I
need to go. If one breaks, I fix it.
That's the only real solution here. Don't buy it if you can't pay cash. The name of that credit game is "You Lose". I know it sounds crazy, but I
have done just that for the last 10+ years. Once you get your head above water, you'll never forget that feeling of being out of debt.