Deceased Person Vehicle

by Arturo
(Glendale, California)

My uncle just passed away and owed money on his 2012 Honda Accord (why this much I don't know). The bank said he Pay off is $43,000. If the car is returned to the dealer, is my Aunt responsible for the balance even though she didn't co-sign?

Thank you for your assistance!

Comments for Deceased Person Vehicle

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Jul 30, 2015
Mom passed away and she left a debt car
by: Anonymous

Mom passed away a month ago and she left a car debt of 23,000 my mom was single never married will that debt be charged to her daughters? What will happen?

Hope I get a right answer or advice thank you.

Reply from

We're sorry to hear of your loss. Unless you are a cosigner this debt should not become your responsibility. The lender will want the car back (unless it's worth more than what you owe - in which case the beneficiaries may be able to sell it and keep the difference). If there is an estate they may try to collect from it. The procedures for settling the estate vary by state.

Apr 29, 2013
Deceased Person Vehicle

California is a community property state so spouses are liable for the others's debts even if they do not sign for the debts. Therefore, your aunt is liable for the balance due on her husband's car.

However, if the car is returned to the dealer, the dealer will sell the car and apply the sale proceeds to the outstanding balance on the car. If the proceeds are not enough to pay off that balance, then your aunt would be responsible for paying whatever balance remains, which would be less than the $43K you say is owed on the car.

Before your aunt does anything about the car however, I recommend that she ask for a written accounting of the loan. Like you, I do not understand why the balance owed on a 2012 Honda Accord would be so large. A quick search on the Internet told me that the value of the car is about half that amount assuming he purchased a basic version of the car and not a luxury version.

If you need additional help or advice, I recommend you and your aunt talk to an attorney in your area.

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