First, thank you for taking the time to read about my situation.
A few years ago, I divorced and kept the house. The payments were more than I could handle but, I managed to stay afloat for the past two years.
About three months ago, I had to replace the heater/air conditioning in the home and I began to fall behind on my car payment. My father gave me a fairly new Toyota to drive (the title's free and clear, there is no loan associated with the car).
So, I voluntarily surrendered (repo) my Honda. They sold it at auction for $12,000 and I owed $18,000. I have been contacted regarding the deficiency amount ($6,000) and asked to make payment arrangements to take care of it. After attempting to work out a payment plan, I still wasn't able to afford the monthly payments to clear up the deficiency amount.
The lender hasn't said anything about suing me for the amount. The letters are very vague and say, "To avoid further action" etc. I have tried to located specific information about if Texas will allow the lender to sue the debtor for the deficiency amount. A few websites have indicated that Texas has certain laws that protect the consumer from being sued for the deficiency amounts on certain items. Yet, I can't locate any information that specifically pinpoints whether or not I could be sued.
Lastly, I have a friend (here in Texas) that had her car reposessed after a messy divorce. She was asked to make payment arrangements to take care of the deficiency amount but, like me, she wasn't able to. She wasn't "sued".
I'm concerned that if I'm sued, they will garnish my wages and I'll be right back in a bad spot, again. Or, that they'll try and put a lien on my home. Is that possible if I still have a mortgage on it?
1. Does Texas protect the consumer from being sued for the deficiency amount of a repossed auto (loan)?
2. If I am sued, since I don't have anything of real value other than my home (that I'm paying the mortgage on), can they place a lien on my home?
Any advice you could offer would be great.