My husband purchased a vehicle with financing and title in his name only. He has since passed away. The finance company told me that if I gave the vehicle back to them, it would be considered a voluntary repossession. I do not want the vehicle. What is my role in all this?Your role in this is to preserve the assets in your husband’s estate. You will be entitled to a portion of your husband’s estate and will therefore want to maximize its in order to maximize the value of your share.
If you do not continue to make the payments on the automobile loan, the car will undoubtedly be repossessed. The only significant difference between voluntary repossession and involuntary repossession is that with a voluntary repossession, you will be able to turn the vehicle over to the lender avoiding any repossession fees.
Consideration should be given to the significant factor that repossession does not necessarily relinquish the debt associated with the property. For example, the car could be repossessed and sold with a balance remaining on the debt. Then the remainder of the balance owed on the note would come out of your husband’s estate assets.
In order to protect your husband’s estate and to preserve your share of his estate, you would do well to sell the vehicle yourself and pay the note. If you sell the vehicle yourself, you will have control over the sale and the sale price. You will be able to refuse a low offer. If you allow the vehicle to be repossessed, you lose this ability and the lender could accept an unnecessarily low offer, thereby increasing the remaining debt owed.