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Seniors and RV Payments

What To Do When You Have An RV Payment You Can't Afford

It is not uncommon that seniors find that they can no longer afford an expensive motorhome, fifth wheel, or other RV. Perhaps a husband or wife has become unable to use the RV because of age or illness, or maybe when retirement came, the decreased income meant RV payments became simply too expensive. An unaffordable RV is a common problem for many seniors. The good news is that seniors do not have to keep a RV they can no longer afford. The contract they signed has provisions for surrendering the RV. They do not need to feel guilty if they can no longer afford to pay for the RV and it must go back to the lender. This article will explain the process of surrendering an RV and why, in almost every case, the senior has nothing to worry about.

If you have equity in the RV, you can sell it yourself, pay off the loan, and pocket the difference. However, most of the time there isn’t enough equity to warrant selling it. But surrendering an RV is a simple process. If you can’t afford the payment, you can simply stop making payments. Call the bank or lender to stop an automatic deduction from your checking account, then call the lender and tell them that you can no longer afford to make payments. You can terminate insurance as long as you are no longer driving the motorhome.

However, you don’t have to call the lender. If you simply stop payments, they will eventually get the message and repossess the RV (sometimes lenders take a bit longer to repossess an RV than a car). After it is repossessed, the RV will be placed for auction or other type of sale. Normally, it will be sold for less than the sum owed. That difference is called a “deficiency.” You will eventually receive a notice of the amount of money still owed, or the “deficiency amount.” If that money is not paid, the lender could file a lawsuit for that sum to obtain a judgment, sometimes called a “deficiency judgment.”

The reason most seniors don’t need to worry about being sued for a deficiency judgment is their income is protected by federal law. Most seniors don’t understand that Social Security, pensions, disability and VA benefits are all protected from collectors under federal law. The income can’t be taken from you. So, for most seniors a judgment for a deficiency is meaningless. Almost all other assets seniors own, including cars and a home, are likely protected under state exemption laws. Here is a link to an article that explains this in more detail: Why your retirement income is protected.

However, collectors can make harassing collection calls and send demand letters. A collector will never tell a senior that they really can’t collect money or property from them. Instead, they will rely on intimidation. This can be very stressful, but it can be prevented. HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm is a national law firm that represents seniors in order to stop unwanted collector contact. Federal law provides when a person is represented by an attorney, collectors may no longer call or send lenders.

Often seniors who owe money on an old RV owe other debt as well. Because their income is protected, that income is available for their needs. The other old debts – including credit card debt – do not need to be paid. While bankruptcy is an option, it is often unnecessary because the senior’s income is protected already. Seniors simply need protection from collector harassment. That is what HELPS does.  

Seniors can stop making the RV payment they can no longer afford. And they can be protected from any collector harassment because of that decision. HELPS is a 501(c) law firm that operates in all 50 states. HELPS is a charity approved by the IRS. That means HELPS never turns any senior away who qualifies for our help. The cost is either free or extremely minimal, less than a cheap cup of coffee a day. Any senior can call HELPS toll free at 1855 435 7787 for answers to their questions about these matters or visit our website at www.helpsishere.org.

Learn More About Other Issues and What HELPS Can Do For You.

Peace of Mind
These HELPS clients were dealing with harassing debt collectors and anxiety over old Debt. HELPS provided a solution to their financial worries.