Paycheck Chronicles

Car Shipping Mess: You Can't Stop Paying

During this whole personally owned vehicle (POV) shipping mess, I have heard a lot of people say that they aren't going to make payments on their car while it is delayed in shipping.  I'm hoping that these people are just blowing off steam, because it would be a huge mistake to actually stop paying your car payments.

When you purchase a car, you are paying the dealer the amount of money that the car costs.  If you don't have the money, then you borrow it from a third-party.  It might be arranged by the dealer, but it is still a different company that is providing the money.  You are obligated to pay the loan that you've received, regardless of what happens with you, your life, or the car.  You can't stop paying the car payments because it is delayed in shipping any more than you could stop paying the car payments during the original shipping, while you are deployed, or while you are on vacation.  It is still your loan, and you are liable to pay the payments.

If you were to choose to stop making payments, several bad things are going to happen.  First, your will start accumulating late fees.  Second, the non-payment will show up on your credit report.  Third, the loan will eventually move into legal proceedings, which means lawyers fees and court costs.  You're responsible for those.  Eventually, the loan will be called due and when you don't pay it, the loan company will have your vehicle repossessed.  You might think:  how are they going to repossess it when it is lost?  They might not physically repossess it immediately, but they will do the legal stuff to remove you from ownership of the vehicle.  The actually retrieval of the car is only a small part of the process.  Then, you'll owe the amount of the loan, plus all the legal costs, and you won't even have a car anymore.  Does that sound like fun?

I understand that this is a frustrating situation all around, but please be sensible.  You are the only person who will be hurt if you decide to stop paying.  It isn't going to hurt the shipper, the loan provider, or your insurance company.  You will make a big financial mess and you still won't have your car.

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