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Deficiency Judgment

n. The judgment issued for the amount that is not covered by the value of the security placed for the loan or installment payments. Most states require a judicial foreclosure is filed instead of just foreclosing on real property. Additionally, after foreclosure on the mortgage or deed of trust, some states allow a lawsuit for a deficiency judgment. The lease or installment contract usually has the deficiency judgment written into it. However, there is the risk that the sale of a repossessed vehicle will be at a wholesale price or to a friend at a sheriff's sale or auction which leaves the debtor responsible for the difference between the sale price and the remainder due on the contract or lease.

 
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