Is an auto loan the spouse's debt? How? 11 Answers as of August 31, 2015

My Dad has an outstanding auto loan. He and Mom recently relocated and he died 2 weeks ago. He asked me to drive the car. There is the outstanding loan, but he was the only one on the loan. No $ in the estate. May we contact the loan co, ask them to pick up the vehicle and cancel the loan due to his death?

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Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
The loan was for the car. If the loan is not paid, it is likely the finance company will pick up the car. However, the loan will not be cancelled because the person that secured the loan passed away.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/31/2015
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
If the vehicle is worth the same or less than the outstanding amount on the loan, the loan company will repossess the vehicle. If the vehicle is worth significantly more than the loan and there are other debts owed by the estate, you will need to sell the vehicle, pay off the loan, and use the remaining funds to pay other debts.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/31/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
That would be a yes.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/28/2015
Geoff Germane, Attorney at Law | Geoff Germane
The loan is certainly secured by the vehicle, but may be a valid debt of your father's estate as well. If the estate has no cash but does have some other illiquid assets (like real estate or business interests), these would potentially be subject to the claims of the lender. An attorney experienced in probate and estate planning in Utah can help you shorten the time for creditors' claims and help you respond to claims when made. K
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 8/28/2015
Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
In Missouri the auto loan should not be a debt your mother's debt. If you cannot afford to pay off the loan and there is no equity in the car, then you can call the finance company to repossess the vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/28/2015
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    The loan follows the asset. If there are no assets in the estate then the lender should claim the car as collateral for the loan.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/28/2015
    Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
    Yes, although the loan won't actually be cancelled it's just that the lender won't be able to recover anything from the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/28/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Since your father was the only one liable on the loan and he's died without any assets, the lender can repossess and sell the car but they can't go after anyone for the balance of the loan.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C.
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C. | Richard M. Levy
    If your mother did not co-sign the loan nor guarantee the debt she has no obligation to pay it. However, the debt is a possible lien against your father's estate.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, most likely the vehicle loan is secured against the vehicle. If the surviving spouse is not liable for the loan ("on the loan") then the debt should not be the surviving spouse's debt, though the lender may be able to repossess the vehicle to help cover the remaining loan balance.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Yes, cooperate with the loan company to give the vehicle back best to contact them first. If there is nothing else in the estate, then it should be fine.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/27/2015
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