The lender should not be entitled to a deficiency if you were not sent a notice of sale, etc. Thus, although the repossession reporting may be accurate, the amount of the debt may not be. If you would like an instructional dispute letter form, you can email me at email@example.com. You may also want to send the creditor a validation notice. Make sure you ask for a copy of that form as well. I wish you the best in the future.
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No requirement exists that a creditor actually enforce its rights. As such, it really doesn't matter if the creditor informed you. The issue with a credit report is whether the entry is accurate.
Having said that, no harm will come if you try to dispute the entry and roll the dice the creditor will not verify the information. Your first move is to dispute the entry with the credit reporting agencies and see what happens.
It is an urban myth that there is something better about a voluntary return of property to a creditor than a repossession in the stealth of night. For credit purposes, it is a distinction with no real difference. Typically the creditor is required to inform you of the sale of the property but unless you can show that you were in a position to pay off the vehicle, it is a right without any meaningful remedy. If the statute of limitations hasn't expired on collecting this debt, I would wait until you have lump sum of cash before making a settlement offer. Settling this debt will not, surprisingly, help your credit. Hope this perspective helps!