There is a new debt collector creeping into Western Pennsylvania, Autovest, LLC. Similar to the credit card debt collectors, Autovest is buying up bad debt for pennies on the dollar and then suing for the full amount. As its name suggests, Autovest is specializing in automobile loan debt collection. Here is a how it woks:
You take out an auto loan to buy a new or used car. These loans are called Retail Installment Sales Contracts and require you to make monthly payments. Typically, the car dealership will give you the loan and then sell that loan to a bank, such as Wells Fargo Financial, Inc. Something happens in your life and you fall behind making your monthly payments. The bank will then repossess your vehicle, i.e. takes it back as collateral for not repaying your loan. The bank then has a right to sell that car to someone else or to an auction. If the bank does not sell the car for what you owe on the loan, the bank is able, under Pennsylvania law, to sue you for the difference, called a deficiency judgment. For example, you owe $10,000.00 when the vehicle is repossessed. However, the bank is only able to sell it at an auction for $6,000.00. The bank can sue you for the remaining $4,000.00.
Autovest comes into play when it buys that deficiency debt from the bank and then sues you for it. So, looking at our previous example: After the bank sells your car, there is a deficiency (or debt) of $4,000.00. Autovest goes to Wells Fargo and buys the deficiency for maybe $2,000.00. Autovest then sues you for the full $4,000.00.
The problem is that Autovest will have a hard time proving to a court of law that it has the legal right to collect this money. Rarely will Autovest have the legal assignment, bill of sale, original retail installment sales contract, payment history, etc. Consumer protection attorneys, like those at Morrow and Artim, P.C., know what documents Autovest has to have in order to take your money. We have successfully defended collection actions such as these saving our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you received anything the mail from Autovest, or attorneys representing Autovest, contact our auto fraud attorney immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-209-0657. Save the letters, sale the envelopes, and don’t talk with them.