Jennifer Miller and her husband, Jake, decided it was best to end their 11-year marriage upon realizing they’d grown apart. Like many other marriages ending in divorce, Jennifer and her husband had to deal with a frustrating financial picture that included many shared assets like a mortgage, stocks and other items of value they acquired during their time together.
But one additional item was sitting there and neither knew what to do about it because it was a confusing contract.
Two years before the divorce, Jake leased a car for Jennifer when she needed a reliable car to drive but wasn’t planning on heavy miles since she spent most of her time at home. With 24 months remaining on the contract – and a divorce in the works – Jennifer and Jake found themselves pondering their options since she was planning on moving to get a fresh start, which included a different set of wheels. Although the lease was in Jake’s name, he wanted to get rid of the payment since he’d have no use for the car.
The financial problem with this situation lies in the two options most people think of when it comes to an unwanted car lease. Since a car lease is a contract, Jake and Jennifer would have to add up all the remaining payments and write a check for more than $12,000 in order to break the lease. They could also bring the lease back to the dealer but would have to trade it in for a new car and carry all the negative equity with it.
Neither situation was financially desirable for Jake and Jennifer.
Today there are services available that let people transfer their car lease contract over to a different person allowing the first lessee to walk away from the contract without harm to credit.
Leasing companies now allow people to find others, anywhere in the country that will essentially adopt the remaining portion of a car lease contract for the remaining balance of the lease. The services cost about $250 to transfer a lease, no matter the monthly payment, and these fees pale in comparison when you consider that $12,000 price to break the lease.
Lease trading services not only provide a marketplace where the two parties can connect, but they also facilitate all the paperwork so you don’t have to get involved, an added benefit to anyone going through a divorce. The transfer process takes just a few weeks and most major car lease companies now participate in the program.
If you’re going through a divorce and there’s a car lease in the middle, it might make the most sense to trade it away rather than open your wallet.