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I have a niece who is 2 years older than I am. She has a husband who is on the road as a trucker. The company has him buying his truck, although he is now not making enough to pay for the truck. The company has also told him that if he turns the truck back in, they will garnish any wages that he gets anywhere else and ruin his credit for him.

Now, that being said, he is not able to keep up payments on rent. No companies that are hiring in his area. My niece and her 2 sons are sitting at home wondering what on earth to do. The landlord has been patient with them for 3 months, although no payments have come forth.

We don't have much room here to take the 4 of them in. I am trying to figure out what next to do. She is scared and is trying to figure a way to keep them all together. She says they need to be out of the house by the end of this month if they can't pay. They won't have utilities even if they were to stay, no way to keep warm, no water, no nothing. She has no vehicle now, as that has been repoed.

I told them they could stay with us on a very limited basis, but hubby's not crazy about that idea, for many reasons, so this would be maybe a few days until we could find another place to put them, but still the moving expense would be prohibitive to do that.

Supposing the above were your situation, what would you do. Her boys are teenage, but she is afraid she is going to have to give them up and go out on the truck just with her husband or send one of the kids with her husband and then figure out what to do with the other boy and herself.

We are in a very bad spot ourselves, so other than just a place for a few days, not much help we can give. My heart is breaking for her, and I just don't know what to do or where to turn.

Any advice?
 

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Human Being!
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Only thing comes to mind is for him to review his contract with the company on the truck. There might be a way out and they might be just be trying to scare him.

AJ
 

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This situation and similar variations thereof are going to be played out on a grand scale over the next few months.
The people have borrowed themselves into a corner and there is no way out for most.....except through the safety net of family.
It's getting very close to time to swallow pride and face reality if people are going to survive.
 

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I don't know the answer of where they can go, but I will surely pray for this family, and for your family as well.
 

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Karaoke Queen
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Well, it kinda sounds like a scare tactic by the company. Trucking companies and independents are all having a tough time.

Obviously, they've been having problems for months because they are so far behind on rent. You mentioned a teenager and them "sitting at home." Is the mom working? Is the teenager working parttime? Even though the job market is bad, they've known this was coming for more than three months, so both of them should be employed by now.
 

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Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate
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Sounds like a tight spot. I had a neighbor that was a trucker. They never had much. He'd live high on the hog while on the road with little left over for his wife and four little girls.
I have lots of questions.
What changed that makes his income less than the truck payments?
Sounds like he owes more on the truck than it is worth. Why and how much more?
Is this a new guy your sister is married to, or are those teenagers theirs?
What are they spending on smokes and booze?
Is he eating in Truck Stops or "brown bagging" it? That adds up.
Does sister work? Why not? Even in Michigan, with the nation's highest unemployment rate, there are jobs, if you are willing to work. Doesn't seem she needs to go ride the roads with hubby, unless the company can double the freight he has to haul. Is that the plan?
This financial crisis they are in has been going on for awhile now.
Lets see if I've got this right: He can only pay for the truck and the familiy's groceries. If she goes over the road, they can double driving hours and double their income. Do you have room in your house for the two teenagers? Write up a contract for Sis to pay you $600 a month for child care for her two kids, to be reviewed in 12 months. Without the house rent or utilities, she should be able to cover that much, don't you think? Keep track of every cost: food, increased utilities, school books, hauling them someplace, etc. Save the $600 in a secret savings account. At the end of the year, subtract what it has cost you and give Sis the rest. If she burns you along the way, give her the kids and keep the money.
 

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Last resort, check into bankruptcy. If the contract was like the ones for so many homes and he has been paying less than the interest every month then they really might have no option.
 

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Voice of Reason
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Only thing comes to mind is for him to review his contract with the company on the truck. There might be a way out and they might be just be trying to scare him.

AJ
I suspect that's the case. Give the truck back. It's doubtful that they'll pursue a deficiency judgement, since this whole thing was created by lack of funds in the first place. If they do pursue a deficiency judgement, there's always bankruptcy.

About the credit reporting, this is a default on a loan so there isn't much you can do to keep it off, but you can add a note. Just say it was in connection with a small business failure, which is the truth.
 

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Original recipe!
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I agree that this is going to be happening more and more and more.
Folks are gonna have to start living like the old days with folks just piled up in the house!
We have already taken in one extra.
If it comes down to it I would say open your house and try to make the best of it. Hey.. two extra "men" and young, strong ones at that can be a bonus come the spring.
It is living through the winter that will be the challenge.
Best of luck to everyone involved.
 

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They have already lost a car, and are 3 months behind in the rent. Two bad marks so to speak. The truck agreement does not provide sufficient payment to pay the note on it. So in fact he is bankrupt right now.

Seek out a free attorney, from legal aid.

Have them as a family unit show up at the nearest homeless shelter. They will be able to get some help.
 

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Voice of Reason
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I think I would contact an attorney to see what they are legally responsible and what the company can legally do to them.
:stars:

A lawyer is just going to do what you or I would do; read the contract to understand which rights and obligations were agreed to. Other than give an opinion of the likelihood that they will file suit for a deficiency judgement, I don't know what more a lawyer can do. Most people already have an idea of what their contracts are all about anyway.

Once you give the truck back and stop making payments the ball is in their court. They will realize that you have defaulted on the loan and returned the collateral because you can't make the payments. They have to weigh the likelihood of collecting anything from the borrower against the $4,000 or so it's going to cost to pay a lawyer to file suit for a deficiency judgement. They know that if they get the deficiency judgement that the borrower will just file for bankruptcy anyway. I seriously doubt that they will pursue a deficiency judgement if they receive the collateral back in decent shape.
 

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..where do YOU look?
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have the teenage sons go to work
 

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Tell your sister to contact the local women's resource center. Commonly referred to as a battered women's shelter, that is not all they are there for. They are there to assist women in crisis. Most times, they can offer her information and options that we would never think of.

In the meantime, she needs to find a part time job. One that will enable her to pay her current rent as well as make monthly payments on her arrears. Even if they boys only get part time positions as janitors at the school, or something like that, they can help pay utility costs. She should also look into renting something small, with utilities included in the rent. These types of housing are harder to find these days, but they are out there.

I'd strongly suggest that she sit down with her kids and tell them exactly what the situation really is. Let them know what dire straights they are all in. She'll likely be quite surprised by the suggestions they make to help out.

Just my opinion, having btdt. I hope she manages to keep her head above water. Winter is a terrible time to be homeless.
 

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This is what lawyers are for, and when they are worth using. To find out what the law says, where the contract is illegal and legal, what legal rights and manuevers one has, etc.

Working for a company at a net loss because they threaten to harm you if you don't submit...
 

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AFKA ZealYouthGuy
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I don't have time to get into this too much this morning but this is VERY common. In fact, it's being pursued in court on several levels to even see if it's legal. It's ultimately a scam when MOST companies do it. There are some companies that are legit, but the companies basically use these same trucks over and over and over and "sell" them to these guys. These guys, desperate to be in business for themselves, "lease-purchase" the truck. It makes them an "independent contractor" and the company doesn't pay any benefits, taxes, workers comp. etc. for the employee... er "contractor". The contractor then basically works for free because the cost of the truck and their "interest payments" is so great, plus all the licensing, permits, insurance... that almost all (if not indeed all) the driver... er... "contractor's" money is absorbed.

Many of these companies (although this is illegal to do) don't let them take "their" truck to another company and earn more money or get more work if they would like.

It's, in many respects, the "company store" of the new millennium.

Some of you asked questions about why he wouldn't be able to make payments all of a sudden... sigh... really, study up a bit on a subject if your not sure about it. The insinuations that this has to be this guys fault is in error.

You know how all those "sales" are down and inventory is down, and auto purchases, auto manufacturing are down???

The first line of business to get hit by all those "downs" is the transportation business. Transportation is a "substantive business" it actually depends on PHYSICAL GOODS to work. It's a "service industry" only in that the service they provide is transportation, but there is no service without goods. There is no "extra service" or "value added service" if there is no freight.

More than likely they (the company who really owns the truck) will take the truck back, sell it someone else, suck up all your BIL's escrow, and then move on. If they are particularly vindictive they will take him to court for a ruling but MOST don't do that, because even with iron-clad contracts, the cost and even the chance of their business practice being ruled as illegal is too dangerous.
 

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Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate
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It sounds like the truck is his, but the Company he works for sold it to him. Right? Am I to also assume that when he gives back the truck, he won't be able to haul their freight? So, he is buying a truck from a company that can't find enough work to cover the payments. That is even with payments set so low (strung out so far) that the truck is going down in value faster than he can pay it off. Face it, he doesn't have a job.
There are trucking companies all over this country looking for reliable drivers. Most pay good wages. Mayflower (for instance) encourages husband wife teams.
 

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AFKA ZealYouthGuy
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Extremely bad, to compound the issue, many of the companies that do this are also the ones that train guys through their "truck driving school" and if the driver goes anywhere else then they charge them thousands of dollars for "truck driving school". They usually have a time limit on that, I've seen from 6 months to two years. The companies that say 2 years are far less common today than they were a few years ago.
 

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Has her husband looked into other companies, outside of their area?? There are literally unlimited amounts of OTR trucking jobs out there. Our best friends, the dh drives a truck and is in a lease-to-own program for his truck. My dh is going to go on the road in February. DH and I look everyday at all the companies hiring. It's really unbelievable how many are out there. Her dh may have to work for a company in another city/state, but they will still get him home on a regular basis. Our friend is making OUTSTANDING money and stays on the road with jobs. He set his schedule to come home one weekend a month, for 3 days, and his company does just that for him. He even needed to be home on a non scheduled stop 2 days ago for some personal business, and they got his loads lined up and got him home when he requested. He has scheduled to be home for a week at Christmas....they've already got him lined up for that, as well.

Her dh definitely needs to search the internet and get his application in with other companies, and since he already has his own truck, that would be a plus in his favor. Maybe since his current company can't keep him in jobs, they would agree to let him drive their leased truck to him for another company so he could make the payments.

My dh has spoken with 3 other acquaintances/fellow workers(2 of which are recently retired truck drivers(oldish gentlemen) after 20-30+ years on the road) at his present job about the stability of being a OTR driver and they all have given us the same feedback as our friend that currently drives.


Another option is going overseas to work as a CDL driver. He could make exceptional money over there, but the danger is a huge factor.

PM me if you would like some sites for them to look at.
 

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If I need a Shelter
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Go to Washington and get a Bailout,shoot a Million should do to start :icecream:

Truth just file Bankrupcy.

There is no way you caqn make money on this kind of deal.The Company decides on the miles he runs,they decide when Maintenace has to be done even if it is not needed.By the time you just about have it paid for it is too old,so you have to have a New one.It is just a circle that no one comes out ahead but the company.

big rockpile
 
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