Auto lease: lessee dies

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  #1  
Old 03-16-09, 10:29 AM
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Auto lease: lessee dies

My Dad passed away suddenly about a month ago. He had a 36-month lease on a 2008 Toyota Avalon which is auto-paid from his (now Mom's) checking account (it was a joint account). One payment has been made since his passing. The contract was drawn up in SC where they live.

Technically according to the lease he is in default because he died. His is the only signature on the lease.

Mom is interested in buying the car. It has 18K miles and is in pristine shape after 17 payments. Payments are $360 per month. 15K miles per year is lease mileage limit.

Given the poor auto market out there for sellers, would it not be in the lessor's interest to give us a good deal to take the car off their hands? The purchase price at lease end is $17.5K

What strategy should we use to appreach the lessor? They have not been notified of Dad's passing. The lessor name on the contract is the dealer, but it looks like the lessor might actually be USB Leasing LT.

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-16-09, 11:49 AM
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Normally, someone else can't take over the lease or buy it. Not sure if ithe dealer or the company that's financing it, but one of them will take it back. That's how it works and I've been leasing for quite a while.
Someone really needs to let them know your dad passed away tho. Then you can talk to them and maybe with the way things are right now, they may want to work something out. Don't think there's any kind of strategy to use. Just be honest and either they will or they won't.
 
  #3  
Old 03-17-09, 10:36 AM
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Thank you for your reply.

We just found the lease last week, and we certainly intend to notify the lessor within the next few days, but I was hoping that there may be someone who has been in this situation before who may be willing to share their experience.

If the lessor takes the car back, according to the lease, then Dad's estate could be liable for a bunch of charges.

We'd like to avoid that as well.

Again, just looking for someone who has been through the experience to try to anticipate some of the details.

Thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 03-17-09, 11:27 AM
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If you call them and tell them you're interested in buying it, then just make an offer, they'll probably be glad to make a deal rather than get stuck with a car they can't sell or go thru the hassle of the probate lawyer and waiting for funds.
I don't think you have anything to lose.
 
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