What If I Stop Paying My Car Lease?
You will default on your leasing contract if you stop making your payments. As specified in the contract, you must make your monthly payments or face repossession, meaning the bank will take the car back.
Before you decide to stop making your payments, consider your options and how your choices can affect your future finances.
Call your bank as soon as you realize you can’t make your payment. If you have a good payment history, the bank may work with you so you can keep the leased vehicle. It may be able to defer your payment for up to several months, giving you time to get your finances back in order.
The bank is likely to suffer a loss if it has to repossess your vehicle, so call to find out your options.
If you stop making your lease payments, the bank will attempt to contact you through mail and by phone. If you provided references for your application when you initiated your lease, the bank may contact the friends or family you listed in an attempt to reach you.
If you still do not contact the bank, it will hire a repossession company to collect the vehicle. In this case, the repossession company will try to contact you until it us able to collect your car.
An involuntary repossession occurs when the bank hires a repossession company to take its vehicle back. The collection company can take your car from your home, work or a parking lot.
You can choose to voluntarily repossess your vehicle, meaning that you return the car to the bank’s possession and avoid possible embarrassment. In this case, you can call the bank to arrange the vehicle’s return to a dealership or another location that the bank prefers. Either option affects your credit report the same.
Avoid repossession if at all possible. Your credit will suffer immensely. Try to sell your vehicle or even trade it to a dealership for a cheaper car, if possible. You can also have someone assume your lease if your bank allows it; some shoppers prefer to take over someone else’s lease to avoid putting money down or to take advantage of a shorter leasing term.
If your vehicle is repossessed, the bank will eventually pursue legal action to get its money. This can end in a possible judgment or wage garnishment.