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Repossession: Why it happens, what you can do, and your rights before, during and after repossession

By on December 4, 2009

The following information guide you through dealing with a car lost through repossession.

It is critical that you understand if your vehicle is repossessed the car will be sold at a dealer price at auction and you will be responsible for the difference you owed on the car plus repossession expenses minus the very low sales price.

People are hit with very large amounts due from the repossession deficiency. For many the amount due is so large that bankruptcy is often the most logical way to deal with the massive debt.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them for free about your specific situation. Get the facts and then you can make an informed and educated decision if bankruptcy is right for you.

Losing Your Vehicle By Repossession

If you fail to make payments on a car loan, or anticipate a problem paying in the near future, you should be familiar with the process of repossession and what rights you may have. This publication will cover your rights before and after repossession, starting with the security agreement you signed when you bought the car and ending with your rights after a creditor sale of your car.

Specifically, this publication will answer the following:

  • How does the creditor have a security interest in your car and what does this mean?
  • How can you default on a loan?
  • When can you reinstate the contract or redeem the car?
  • Do you have rights to be notified before repossession?
  • How can you stop self-help repossession?
  • What are your rights before and after the sale of your vehicle?

It is important to know that every state has a different mix of laws on this subject and the rights discussed in this publication may or may not be available in your particular state. You must check with an attorney in your state to see which of these rights is available to you.

Did You Sign a Valid Written Security Agreement?

A car can only be repossessed by the lender that took the car as collateral for your loan. None of your other creditors can repossess your car unless you have a security agreement that specifically states your car is collateral for that loan. For example, if you are delinquent on regular credit card debt, the credit card company cannot repossess your car to collect the credit card debt.

When you buy a car using a car loan, you sign a security agreement. For the agreement to be valid, it must describe the type of “collateral” (the car) and the value given, and you must have “rights to the collateral.” (You have rights to the collateral if the car belongs to you, not to someone else.) Accordingly, if a parent buys a car for her daughter, the daughter has all rights to the collateral and must sign the security agreement. If the daughter does not sign the agreement, there is no valid security interest and the creditor may not be able to repossess the car.

It is important to check the agreement to see if there are any mistakes or omissions. If there is a mistake in the security agreement that makes the agreement invalid, the creditor cannot repossess the car, even if you defaulted on the loan. You should have received a copy of the agreement at the time you bought the car, but if you no longer have a copy of your security agreement, you can ask your creditor for a copy. Although you may not have a legal right to another copy of the agreement, you should contact your local attorney general or consumer affairs office if you believe there may be a problem with the agreement and your creditor won’t give you a copy.

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Did You Default on the Loan?

Before a lender can repossess your car, you must default on the loan. The usual way that a consumer defaults on a loan is by failing to make a monthly installment payment. (If you are in this situation or close to it, see the publication called “When You Can’t Make Your Car Payments.”) But there are other ways that you can default, and these are spelled out in the security agreement that you signed when you bought the car. Some examples include: failing to purchase insurance, losing or destroying the car, selling the car or moving the car to another location without the lender’s permission. If you don’t understand why or how you defaulted, you should look at your agreement to see what constitutes a default.

There are occasions where you may default under the agreement but your creditor still cannot repossess your car. Many states find that if the creditor has accepted late payments from you before, the creditor cannot later declare that you defaulted without giving you reasonable notice. In other words, the creditor would have to tell you that it would consider all future late payments as your defaulting on the loan.

In addition, there can be no default if the “underlying obligation is extinguished” (you paid off the loan), the contract is voided under the laws of your state or if you notified the creditor that you are withholding payments because of the creditor’s breach of warranty. You should check your state laws for additional rights since your state may further restrict the grounds for default.

Did the Loan Accelerate?

Assuming you defaulted by not paying on the loan, it is important that you know whether or not your security agreement with the creditor has an “acceleration clause.” Once a loan has accelerated, you can no longer “cure” the default by just paying the past due amount. Instead, the lender can demand the entire balance of the loan due or repossess the vehicle. Your state law determines whether or not your creditor must warn you beforehand that your loan will accelerate and whether or not your creditor must tell you that you have a “right to cure” the default.

The first thing you should do is check your security agreement to see if there is an acceleration clause. A loan will only accelerate if there is an acceleration clause between the debtor and the lender. If there is no acceleration clause in the agreement, the creditor can only demand that you pay the past due amount. The acceleration clause must be clear in the agreement and state that if the consumer meets one of the grounds for acceleration as defined in the agreement, the creditor may accelerate the debt. Grounds for acceleration can include such things as: your commencement of bankruptcy proceedings, your refusal to allow the creditor to inspect the car or your default on the loan, as defined in the agreement.

Upon acceleration, the full loan amount would become due immediately. It is unlikely that a consumer could come up with that sum in a short period of time and acceleration almost always results in default on the total balance of the loan. At that time, the lender can repossess and sell the car to recover the total remaining loan balance.

The creditor can even accelerate “at will” if he truly believes your prospect for payment is impaired. For instance, if the creditor believes the car has been abandoned, the creditor can accelerate at will to recover the total amount owed. Before a creditor can do this, he must perceive a deterioration of the consumer’s financial condition since the loan was made. Check your agreement for a provision allowing acceleration at will.

Did You Get Notice of Acceleration and the Right to Cure?

Under the terms of your agreement, the creditor may not have to tell you that your loan is accelerating. Most agreements have a provision waiving the consumer’s right to notice of acceleration.

Accordingly, a creditor can demand that you pay the full amount of the loan and could repossess the car without ever notifying you. Check your agreement. If there is no waiver, the creditor must notify you after default to tell you that the loan will accelerate, and give you a reasonable opportunity to pay the defaulted amount before acceleration.

Even if you waived notice of acceleration in the agreement, you still may get some help from your state laws. Some state laws – usually called “right to cure” laws – require notice before acceleration, and these laws override the waiver provisions of your agreement. Under a right to cure law, the creditor must allow you to pay back payments plus delinquent charges and reinstate the loan within a particular amount of time before the note will accelerate. This means that your creditor would have to give you notice before acceleration AND give you the chance to correct the situation.

If your state does not have a right to cure law and you waived your right to notice in your security agreement, your creditor still may have to tell you about your right to cure the default. The waiver may not stand if there is any inconsistency about a right to notice in other provisions of the agreement. For instance, the waiver would be invalid if there are provisions in your agreement that mention “on demand,” implying that you have the right to notice of a right to cure.

State laws may further restrict grounds for default and acceleration and may specify the number of times that you may have the right to cure.

Was the Creditor’s Self-Help Repossession Lawful?

If there was a valid security interest, you defaulted on the loan, and the loan accelerated, you risk creditor repossession. In most states, a lender can seize a car without first having to go to court. This is called “self-help repossession.” Creditors must comply with many technical requirements to repossess your car in this manner. Some state requirements that may protect you against self-help repossession include:

  • Express consent. Some states do not permit repossession without the consumer’s express consent (usually in the signed agreement). You consent if you specifically knew of the creditor’s right to repossession and specifically knew that the creditor could repossess your car without having to go to court first.
  • Military personnel or dependents. If you are in the military or are a dependent, you are protected by the federal Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act. This law, however, provides only temporary and partial relief. If you bought a car before you entered the military service and default on your car payment while in the military, your creditor must take you to court to repossess the car. However, your creditor can still use self-help repossession to repossess a car that you bought while you were in the military. But you still may be protected in another way: standard military policy requires that any repossessor entering a base must be accompanied by military police. If you are present during a self-help repossession, a court may find that the presence of a military official forced you to consent to repossession, which is wrongful repossession.
  • Native Americans. Native Americans may be protected if tribal law prohibits self-help repossession.

Did the Creditor Breach the Peace During Self-Help Repossession?

A creditor cannot breach the peace when he repossesses a car. Breaching the peace includes many situations, such as:

  • Touching or pushing you.
  • Damaging your property during repossession.
  • Tricking or lying to you, in some states. A few courts have held that laws cannot encourage lying and trickery to repossess collateral. Courts are divided as to whether a repossessor can trick you to take your car. In one instance, a creditor breached the peace when he pulled the debtor’s car to the side of the road, rode back with the debtor to the dealership and seized the car while the debtor was inside. In another case, a creditor breached the peace when he lied and said he was a government official. However, some courts have found that there was no wrongful repossession when the creditor lied and said he was taking the car for repairs.
  • Threatening you if you feel immediate fear. For example, a creditor’s threat to seize your car at some future time does not put you in immediate fear, so there is no breach of peace.
  • Ignoring your objections. If you, your relative or your friend objects to the repossession but the creditor still repossesses the car, he breaches the peace. You should object at the time the creditor takes the car. If you object after the creditor took the car, it is too late. If a sheriff or other government official is present, don’t resist his seizure of the car, but verify the official’s authenticity.
  • Entering a closed garage. Even without physically breaking in, a creditor breaches the peace when he enters a closed garage. Generally, there is no breach of peace if the creditor takes the vehicle from the public street, a parking lot, a private driveway, an open garage or a carport. A creditor’s trespass can be a breach if there is a potential for immediate violence.
  • Police presence. If the creditor brings a police officer not through a paper of the court and the presence of the officer so intimidates the debtor as to have “forced” him to consent to repossession, the creditor breached the peace.

Your state laws may further limit who can engage in self-help repossession. For example, a state law may permit self-help repossession by licensed personnel, employees of the creditor or automobile dealers only.

If your creditor wrongfully repossesses your car or breaches the peace, depending on your state and its laws, the court may not allow the creditor to keep the car or to collect a deficiency, may stop the subsequent creditor sale of your car and may force the creditor to pay you for the market value of the vehicle at the time of seizure, or pay for damages for your loss of use, mental anguish or inconvenience. You could also be reimbursed for attorneys’ fees.

Note: Unsecured Property Repossessed with the Car. Cellular phones, stereos and other items attached to your car can be repossessed only if the security agreement specifically covers these items. The creditor must return personal property and is liable for any loss of use of property or any damages to property while in the creditor’s custody. If your creditor seized unsecured property with the car, you should inventory the missing property and demand its return.

If your creditor refuses, you can sue the creditor for the property’s value, for your loss of use or for any damages to the property while it was in the creditor’s custody.

Did the Creditor Properly Dispose of the Car After Repossession?

After repossession, there are six possible ways that the creditor can dispose of your car.

  • Reinstatement. After repossession, your state law may give you the right to reinstate the contract by paying the amount past due. If this is the case, the creditor must give you notice of your right to reinstate and the amount due. You have a particular time period, usually 15 days following repossession, to reinstate the contract. You may only get one opportunity to reinstate a contract. If the creditor does not comply with reinstatement procedures, he may be barred from later obtaining a deficiency judgment and may even owe you money.
  • Redemption. Every state gives you a chance to redeem your car by paying off the entire loan plus reasonable repossession and storage charges at any time before your creditor sells or otherwise disposes of the car, even if you had voluntarily surrendered the car. A written waiver of the right to redeem is ineffective unless you signed a written waiver AFTER you defaulted on the loan. Unfortunately, this right to redeem does not help most consumers who have their cars repossessed due to money troubles and cannot come up with a large lump sum of money. Before you redeem, you should know the loan amount, repossession fees, costs associated with the sale, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and legal expenses. If the debt has accelerated, the creditor is not entitled to unearned interest or insurance payments that are not owed because the note has been paid off early. Remember: you may be better off buying your car at the repossession sale than redeeming. The sale price at a creditor sale may be less than the amount you owe. However, you will still be liable for any amount of your loan obligation and repossession costs that are greater than the sale price of the car (the deficiency).
  • Strict Foreclosure. Your creditor could keep your car in satisfaction of your obligation, which is called “strict foreclosure.” If your creditor elects strict foreclosure, you would not owe the creditor any payments, although your creditor can keep all prior amounts that you paid. If the creditor intends to elect strict foreclosure, he must tell you in writing. You can object to strict foreclosure in writing within a certain amount of time, depending on your state, usually within 21 days of the notice. You should object to strict foreclosure if you believe that you or the creditor could get a sale price that would cover the remaining amount that you owe plus any repossession, reconditioning and sale costs.

    If your creditor has repossessed your car but has not disposed of it in any way, it may no longer be worthwhile to sell the car. You can argue that the creditor, in effect, elected strict foreclosure because his holding onto your car for so long made a subsequent sale commercially unreasonable. This is called “constructive strict foreclosure.” If you successfully argue constructive strict foreclosure, your creditor would not have a claim to any deficiency. Even if you live in a state that does not have laws on constructive strict foreclosure, many courts will treat the creditor’s repossession as extinguishing the debt for the value of the car if they do not dispose of the car within a reasonable period. (See “delay of sale” under the discussion of Creditor Sale).

    If you have paid at least 60 percent toward the car, your creditor cannot elect strict foreclosure.

  • Judicial Sale. A creditor could dispose of your car though judicial sale. A creditor will rarely do this since it adds extra court costs and a creditor can generally sell the car without having to go to court first.
    Consumer Sale. Your creditor may allow you to sell the car. You should take advantage of this if you believe that you can get a better price on your own. In fact, it may be unreasonable for a creditor NOT to let you sell the car if you can get a much higher price than your creditor.

  • Creditor Sale. The final way that a creditor can dispose of your car is by selling the car at a public or private sale. During the sale of your car, the creditor must follow certain rules. If the creditor does not, you can sue the creditor to stop the sale and to recover money damages. Two of the most important rules are: (1) the creditor must give you notice of the sale, and (2) the sale must be “commercially reasonable.” Both of these rules are discussed in detail below.

Did You Get Notice of the Creditor’s Sale?

Notice of sale is very important as it tells you when you will no longer be able to redeem your car. If you do not act before the date of sale, you will lose the car. Notice of sale may be the first time that you hear from your creditor after repossession, if you waived your right to notice of acceleration or if your state does not have a “right to cure” law.

The creditor must give “reasonable notification,” which means he must give you sufficient time to take appropriate steps to protect your interests. The timing of notice differs in each state, but creditors usually give notice of sale 10 days beforehand. The notice must be written and accurate in every respect, and most courts require that it specify whether it will be a public or private sale and give details of where and when the sale will take place.

Some courts have barred the creditor from collecting a deficiency judgment where the creditor failed to send the debtor notice even though the debtor actually knew about the sale from another source. Courts have also forced the creditor to pay the debtor the amount that the sale price is diminished because of inadequate notice.

Was the Creditor’s Sale Commercially Reasonable?

The creditor sale must be “commercially reasonable” in every way. Commercial reasonableness is not defined, but it is more than creditor convenience. Commercial reasonableness includes the following:

  • Creditor use of car. A creditor’s use of the car before sale could be commercially unreasonable. When the car is in the creditor’s custody, the creditor has a duty to use reasonable care. If the car is destroyed while in the creditor’s possession, the creditor may no longer be entitled to any deficiency. In general, the creditor cannot drive the car unless it is to preserve the car’s value – never for personal reasons.
  • Creditor reconditioning the car. It may be commercially unreasonable for a creditor to sell the car “as-is” if preparing the car in some minimal way could significantly increase its value. The creditor may have to “recondition” the car, including polishing, cleaning, tune-ups and paint touch-ups. At the same time, you should make sure the creditor does not put too much work into reconditioning the car, because you will end up paying for all reasonable expenses of car preparation for sale. The amount of reconditioning should be proportionate to the value of the car or must result in a significant increase in the sale price.
  • Creditor delay of sale. The creditor cannot unreasonably delay the sale of the car. If the creditor holds onto a car for too long, the creditor may be barred from collecting any deficiency and may have to accept the car as settlement for the rest of the amount due on the loan. (See “strict foreclosure” under Creditor Disposition). On the other hand, a sale that is too hasty could be commercially unreasonable if it results in inadequate advertising or in a failure to produce a sufficient number of bidders. If the debtor already paid 60 percent or more of the loan, the sale must be within 90 days. To determine whether a delay is commercially reasonable, check how much the car has depreciated during the delay, and consider the storage costs and other seasonal and regional variations.
  • Creditor choice between public and private sale. The choice between a public and private sale must be commercially reasonable and must maximize sale proceeds. However, a low sale price by itself is probably not enough to prove that a sale was commercially unreasonable. You should check wholesale pricing guides, like the publication put out by the National Automobile Dealers Association, to determine whether a sale price was commercially reasonable.

    The creditor must make the car available for inspection before a public auction. If you see that a creditor’s preparation for sale is clearly inadequate or if the creditor appears to be selling to itself at a low price, you can try to stop the sale. At a public sale, you can bid for your car. You can also offer to purchase your car at a private sale.

Is There Any Deficiency After Creditor Sale?

After sale of the car, the sale proceeds would first be applied to the reasonable expenses of repossession, then to reasonable expenses of the sale, then to satisfaction of the debt. Whatever is left over (the surplus) must go to the debtor. If there is not enough to cover all these expenses and the remaining debt, the debtor may owe the creditor the amount of the loan and expenses that exceed the sale price, called the deficiency. Under state laws, however, the creditor’s right to a deficiency may be restricted. Some state laws preclude the creditor from getting a deficiency, or may limit the deficiency amount if the creditor elected “strict foreclosure,” if there was a commercially unreasonable disposition of the car, or if the creditor did not comply with specific notice requirements under state law.

If you owe a deficiency, you should recalculate the deficiency amount to make sure it is correct. Make sure the following is accurate:

  • The remainder due on the loan before adjustments. Obtain the original credit documents, recalculate the total amount due and make sure the credit rates are not higher than your state limits.
  • Unearned interest rebates. The total payment of a pre-computed loan includes interest payments over the full loan term. When a creditor accelerates the loan payments, the creditor is seeking payment earlier than scheduled so the amount of interest that you owe decreases. The creditor should rebate this unearned interest to you, and the rebate should be computed based on a formula specified in the loan agreement or based on state law, whichever is more favorable to you, as of the date of acceleration.
  • Interest and penalties after acceleration. After rebating the unearned interest, your state’s laws or the credit agreement may authorize the creditor to charge interest on the amount due from the date of acceleration until you repay this amount. It depends on state law and the contract, but usually late payment charges will not be permitted after the time of acceleration or at the time a deficiency judgment is rendered. A creditor cannot charge both late-payment and extra-interest charges for the same period.
  • Prepaid insurance premiums. You should cancel any prepaid insurance and get a rebate. Also, you should make sure that the creditor does not charge for reconditioning and repairing a car if it is covered by the car’s service contract or extended warranty.
  • Value of car. Make sure you are credited the sale price of the car at retail, not the estimated value.
  • Expenses from repossession and sale. All expenses must be reasonable, including all repossession, storage, repair, reconditioning and advertising expenses. The creditor cannot charge you more than the amount the creditor was actually charged. Expenses for sale should be the same as for the creditor’s non-repossessed cars. Any attorneys’ fees and legal expenses must be reasonable and are governed by the credit agreement and by state law.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them for free about your specific situation. Get the facts and then you can make an informed and educated decision if bankruptcy is right for you.


READ  Mary Had Her Motorcycle Repoed And Wants Your Advice

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

156 Comments

  1. liz

    September 8, 2018 at 2:28 am

    please help me . we got a call that we missed court date and gave a number for us to call. we caled the number and they said we owe 8900,00 for a vechle that was back in 2008 ,,, ok and said they had sent us latters and phone calls but we never have recieved anything then they said they had trouble reaching us byt they didnt have no trouble reaching us yesterday… we call the nunber and the guy was very hateful to us but this is what happened,,, we got a van from a buy here pay here place and had it a year or more then my husbands factory closed and he lost his job while this was going on he had back surgery,,, and was told he wouldnt be able to work,,, so my dad had some property and we moved out of state,,, but we told the car lot and we returned the vechile because they wouldnt accept out of state u had to live there so we took the vechile back… so its been 10 years since that ,,,and they said we bee hearing from them what r my options thanks

  2. Ash

    April 12, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I have a Vehicle i bought for 4000.00 loan amount was 4800.00 i paid on it for a year and realized the balance wasnt lowering. the interest rate on it was 26 percent or something like that. i had purchesed 2 other vehicles from the same dealer and on this one i didnt pay attention while signing. I told the loan company to come pick it up. 4 months later they hadnt picked it up. Fast forward 5 years later and they continue calling and harassing my family and friends asking for the vehicle. They have put insurance on it at 175.00 a month and the balance continues to increase. I have called the collector and attempted to get a settlement as the vehicle is now worth less then 2000.00 and if i allow them to reposes it i will still end up paying 4000.00 after the sale. I am not paying 4000.00 and being out a bike. so i told them the bike has been sold and i am no longer in possession of it and would like to close this debt. i was willing to pay 4000.00 to close it out but they said they will find the bike and make more then that off of me. so here i am at a stand off where no one is going to win but this is the only blemish on my credit. what can i do?

    • [email protected]

      August 30, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      I got my license in 2016 because I was dating someone who pushed me to get my license and I bought a car with crappy debt didn’t know what I was doing I had bad credit and they charged me 32% I want them to take the car, I’ve missed payments and it was a $5500 sale the loan was 7500 I’ve been paying 138 bi weekly but once you miss a payment they don’t take it out of your account unless you call! I’ve atleast given 3000 and my loan is still 7500 what should I do

  3. Marshall Green

    April 9, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Hi Steve you seem quite knowledgeable on the subject. A family member is late on their payments and believes a Repo Notice has been issued. State of NY. It’s parked in a Garage at a different location. If the Car is taken to a friends car Dealer to be inspected will it be flagged and will they have to by law hold the car until it’s taken? Do I avoid getting it inspected? He doesn’t want the car anymore as it’s too expensive so I was wondering like Credit Cards if their is a way to come to terms and “surrender” or reach an agreement. But more importantly if he decides to keep the car and the inspection is past due, will inspecting it be a sure way to loose it. Finally if LE stops the car (for speeding or any issue) while being driven, can they impound and take the Vehicle on behalf of the bank?

    • Steve Rhode

      April 9, 2018 at 10:37 am

      You can always negotiate with the lender. That doesn’t mean you will come to a mutual agreement but I have seen lenders add delinquencies to the end of the loan and bring people current again. That means you’d have to get back to making the regular payment.

      As long as the default is a civil matter then the police are not involved. However, if the lender believes the car has been removed or is hidden and it is a crime, then the police could be involved.

      I’ve never heard of an inspection flagging a repo.

      Bottom line, moving the pieces around does not change the underlying issue with payments and the lender.

      • marshall green

        April 9, 2018 at 10:53 am

        Steve thanks for the info and it seems you are here to really help people. We are working on the negotiations but at the moment the cars Inspection Expired. I know you may have answered but in NY when you get a car Inspected they are Computerized direct with DMV to report the emissions and status in order to put the sticker on your Window. So you have never seen a Authorized Inspection Station Inspect someone’s car and hold it for the Lender to come get? I don’t think we are that far a long and we are trying to fix the underlying issue, but just wanted it explained to me like I am a third grader! Thanks!

        • Steve Rhode

          April 9, 2018 at 12:32 pm

          I have not seen that happen. The payment status is not reported to DMV.

  4. jdykes21

    January 22, 2018 at 6:50 am

    all these people on here saying the different ways creditor’s go after them for money owed after repo’s. ok now im not undrstanding why they are allowed by law to collect money owed. but yet i can pay $96,000 for a vehicle in 3 years,gget hurt and fathers passes away. so i borrow $10,000 on titles and this is when im injured and of course they repossed it.they sell it at auction ,letter only stated public ,day and time,no location.well they never told me it sold,i had to call and ask. been two years since and they still wont tel me the sell price. i owed finance company 12,700 with all fees and they sent me a 5,000 check with blank sheet of paper instead of a statement of account which they still will not give me. so according to numbers they sold vehicle at around 17,500,which i paid 96.000 total 4 years prior. and at time of sale these vehicles at market price 60,000 to 70,000 and auction price was 40,000 to 50,000. how is selling a vehicle worth that kind of money for around 17,500 “commercially reasonable”.. and refuse to give me sale price or statement of account. and auction threw all my possessions away. these vehicles are still going for 40,000 at aucions. now why in the hell can they ruin us, but yet turn around and stil rob me when they owe me money and there are laws protecting from this . but i cant seem to find attourney to take case. all they worry about is improper repo. and sale notice. hell i never recieved post sale noyice. something isnt right but nobody cares apparantly. they dont lie when they say laws are made to protect the bussinesses not individual. 100,000 almost and ended up with nothing

  5. Ashley Hodge

    January 21, 2018 at 11:25 am

    I purchased a car in October , 1st thing is they did not inform me that the car is reported to our credit until after the down payment was taking then, it was towed a total of 5 time starting a week or 2 after I purchased the vehicle, then I paid 320$ to catch up on my payments due to my car being broke down all those times I could not make it to work and I missed so much money not to mention it made me 3 months behind on my rent! Now i’m trying to catch myself up. They made me pay a payment in a half which was 240$ and my complex where my apartment is will not accept partial payments. Then the very last payment I made on 1/19/18 2 FULL payments , 3 hours later they came to pick my car up and I did not know at all until I went back outside 10 minutes later , they stated that they came to pick it up because I threatened to wreck it after I made my 320$ payment that day as well as put 3 used tires on it for 114$ and purchased a light bulb for 13$ the same day. On top of that I had a co-signer and they did not call them at all to ask if they wanted the car or to take over payments. This can’t be right, Considering all major repairs that has kept me out of work missing thousands of dollars! In order : The left tire rod broke,the gear shift went out, the tires popped and I have purchased a total of 5 tires since I got the car in October because the tires get all ate up just from commute to work back home everyday, plus there was a linkage issue…its so much more and I have EVERY receipt of every incident with the car ! Should I take them to court?

  6. Luis

    December 15, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Hi I have a question my van was just repo I came out side and I told the guy hey u can’t take my van he said watch me so I asked him can I get my baby car seat and stroller and my things I have in the van he said no so I got close to the door and took out my key to open it and he said get the fuck away from or you will see so I still had the key in my hand when he grabs my hand and takes my key and says your not getting notting out can some one help me is ther something I can do because he grabbed me

    • Steve Rhode

      December 15, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Call the police and file a police report.

  7. Patrick Kira

    October 12, 2017 at 3:34 am

    can the dealer repo your car if you forget to make 100 dollar payment. only 100 and the car is clear.? So when I call the dealer to ask if they can give me everything detail on my account they say the account is close.

  8. Toreyon Sherman

    September 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I got a car from but here pay here lot I have only had car for 23days I have not paid first payment my car was picked up yesterday cause they say I fell to pay may sales taxes that was due on 9/4/17. I called lady at car lot told her I can come pay on Monday when I get paid she said I got to pay repossession fee and I told her man that pick my car up told me and my sister that I would not because I wasn’t behind in payment just need to pay sales taxes to car lot an lady on phone (Stated I can’t believe he still telling people that I’m going tell owner he still doing that) what should I do

  9. Mario

    October 13, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Hello,

    My car was totaled. My insurance company paid the Lien Holder about $16,000 and GAP paid about $5,000. I did not pay the rest of the $2,000 balance since my Lien Holder did not want to allow lower payment increments . Plus they were at fault by not processing my payments until the mid month according to GAP. Needless to say./ I just found out they have reported that the car was Repossessed which it was not. Could someone enlighten me if that can be considered a repossessing being that I do not have the car my insurance company does?

    • Steve Rhode

      October 13, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Mario,

      It is quite possible that the outstanding $2,000 led to a non-payment default and the vehicle may in fact have been repossessed as a result. In order to get to the bottom of this, accurately and quickly, I would strongly suggest you contact the lien holder and ask for a clarification on the status of your account. Please come back and post an update in the comments with what you learn.

  10. Elizabeth

    July 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    My vehicle just got repossessed and the repo company threatened me to not give back my personal items if I didn’t surrender the car keys, inside the car there’s also my boyfriend’s military discharge papers….is this legal? I am in KS

  11. Starley

    June 24, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    my daughter’s car was repossessed this morning, she only owed one payment on the loan. with the repossession fees, and late fees the total payoff was $1157.87 in which I paid in cash with a money gram to the finance company. They are now telling her that a cash payment will take up to 24 to 48 business hours to post to her account and will not release her vehicle. She provided the company with the reference # given her when she sent the money. Is it legal for them to hold her car when she has paid the loan off in full?

    • Steve Rhode

      June 27, 2016 at 11:08 am

      It really depends on the clearing policy of the cash transmission service which it sounds like you used.

  12. Inquiring Mind

    June 23, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I’m behind in my car payment and I called to make an arrangement until payday but was told they couldn’t hold the account. However i went directly on the website who finances the car and made a scheduled payment for the date I was asking on customer service which is my payday (6) days away. I recvd confirmation that the scheduled payment was accepted and it would be debited on the date I requested. Do the company have to acknowledge and accept this term since I was able to do it on their website?

  13. John

    June 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    My Truck was repossessed without any 10 day notices. What should I do?

  14. Tessa

    June 9, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    they came and got my truck, told me i would have a chance to get it back it i just surrendered it and then took off with a bunch of my stuff still in the truck. they didnt leave a business card or anything and there was even cash and my health insurance cards in there. is there anything i can do to use this to get my truck back? NOTE i didnt default, i won it in my divorce and he got the bill which he filed bankruptcy on a year ago

  15. frommemom

    June 5, 2016 at 1:43 am

    I took my pickup that I had for sale to a lady’s house and dropped it off she said she wanted to buy it but Wanted her dad to check out the engine so I had things to do in town so I just left it there when I returned it was not there and every time after …. So I demanded my truck back and the lady is playing games about it… I had to go out of state to work and I told her I’m sending someone to get my truck and she has told me dozens of times that she has the money and heading to Walmart to send it to me but it’s a lie every time my hands are kind of tied since I’m off working now but I need my truck away from her just trying to find out my rights it’s sorta like she stole my pickup from me and nothing I can do about it HELP

  16. [email protected]

    January 10, 2016 at 3:06 am

    A friend of mine put her car up for collateral helping a friend out but a couple days ago she was on her way home from work until she got pulled over and her car got impounded cause her license were suspended so with that being said is she going to lose out on her car because it was up for collateral

  17. Steph Lundine-Carr

    December 10, 2015 at 8:53 am

    I defaulted on my title loan in Az, they have attempted to repossess the vehicle, if I attempt to pay the loan balance in full, must the lender except the payment? The recovery agent is telling me that my only option is to surrender the vehicle?

  18. Jerry Rodriguez

    October 19, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    My brother before he past gave his daughter the car he got sick and got behind on payments she wants the car what’s CA law

  19. sheridan hardwick

    October 2, 2015 at 7:06 am

    i live in Georgia and I recently had my truck repossessed and noticed I had missing personal items such as my handgun and extra clip, personal navigation and gym bag with personal items. The owner of the storage place told me there was nothing missing and came towards me forcefully. I almost had to engage in a physical altercation because of the way he came towards me but I knew I was on his property. What should I do?

  20. Tina Munoz

    September 3, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I was sited for a dui on 7-31-15 and my car was impounded for 30 mandatory. I called the tow yard on 8-25 to see what the cost was so far. I was told my lien holder had came and took the car on 8-10-15. I am confused how they had the right to. The dmv/mvd
    sent out a notice to them and me advising my vehicle was impounded. I am current on my payment and never had a late payment, I always pay a little extra, my insurance is valid and my license was not suspended or revoked at the time they took it. I was told on the 25th by my lien holder that my car had gone to auction and I had to pay the storage fees for the impound lot they took my car from it had only been on the lot 10 days and they (lien holder) charged me $621.96. I was told I needed to pay that, before they would give me the information to the auctions lot. I paid and they told me the fees I need to pay the auction lot was $433.00 to them for storage fee, before I can get the car off the auction lot. I went to retrieve my car pay and I find my car a mess, my window was left down for 3 weeks in rain and dust storms, my belongings had been stolen out of the car and my front bumper was damaged. I then had to sign papers for the release of my car which I was really not able to sit and read, I was in a tiny mobile trailer with no air, with about 5 others inside and I felt hurried, scared and confused. I later read the forms and I signed off any rights to prosecute. Am I now left without any rights to legal action? Anyone???

  21. Angela Lusk

    July 3, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Our truck was reposed 15 days after our payment was due and we were making the payment when we got paid which was 3 days later. Anyway we paid everything got the vehicle back from the company that reposed it and there was damage done to our vehicle. We contacted the creditors office and informed them and contacted the towing place and informed them. The towing place was hateful about it. Who should be made to pay for the damage to our truck, the towing place that picked it up or the creditor that we make payments to?

  22. Jas

    June 8, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I am a Co buyer or co-signer on an auto loan that was obtained during marriage, the divorcee received the car in the settlement but the lender still holds us both equally liable; the car note has been late multiple times and is currently late again. Can I request the vehicle be picked up, pay the remaining balance on the vehicle and it be solely mine outright? How can I prevent any additional negative inquiries on my credit report due to slow or lack of payment?

  23. colt

    April 14, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I made a payment 5 day late then lost my job. The a week later they shut the car off and I called him and told him my unemployment should come in within 2 weeks and I would come and get the car he told me The price and when I went to pay it 10 days later he told me the car was gone it has been less than 3 weeks. Can they do that..

    • Steve Rhode

      April 14, 2015 at 9:57 am

      It depends on what your state law says and what you agreed to in the contract.

  24. StuckInARut

    April 7, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Hello, my spouse and I lost everything and got into a lot of debt, we’ve just managed to find work and the first place I called to get our debts back in order was Chase Auto finance. About a month ago (when i got the job, but hadn’t received a paycheck yet) I called chase and spoke to a young man who said that if I pay $1,000, I can start to get my account back on track.

    I called today to try and fulfill that and was told that I must relinquish the “collateral” or pay $21,000 immediately.

    I am very behind on my payments, I did mess up, but I’m really looking to try and fix this without filing for bankruptcy. I live in and bought the car in California, I don’t have the original contract at hand but am assuming the debt was accelerated (because of the options they gave me). From everything I have read, California law means that I at least have a right to reinstate. I owe $3500 and could probably pull that together in a week or two.

    What should I do? Relinquish the car right away? Keep calling and trying to see if they can work with me? Wait and collect the money to reinstate before calling them again?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  25. Dustin Hill

    March 7, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    someone help me asap please!!!!!

  26. Dustin Hill

    March 7, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    yes I had a 2003 z71 and suppose to have a 6mnth 6000 mike warranty but motor started messing up and the warranty was onky for $1000 so I told them to come get it and 2mnth went by then they finally got it cause I wasnt paying for the teuck with messed up motor. well he told me he wouldnt put on my credit and herw recenly its been popping up for 7000 debt. but he sold it on his car lot again and I know who bought it and its fixin to be paid off. so am I liable for thr 7000 when he redone a loan after pickin it up from me and reselling it. instead of at a auction?

    • Steve Rhode

      March 9, 2015 at 7:56 am

      You would have to look at your specific purchase agreement to determine how loan defaults are handled.

  27. Sue

    February 23, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I have two car loans by the same company…two separate contacts got one 2 years ago and the other a year ago …One car broke down and is to expensive to fix.. The other is perfectly fine.. I want to do a volentary repo on the one that broke down but the company is trying to talk me out of it and threatening me stating that if I repo one that they can take the other.. I don’t have a problem w the other one and make all my payments on time… If there two separate contacts can they do that??

    • Steve Rhode

      February 23, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Depends on what the contract says. I would suggest you read the fine print on both contracts to see what you agreed to.

  28. Luis V.

    February 20, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Hi my car was repossessed and I went about a week after and paid in full. Then the agency storing the vehicle claimed that they were about to sell it and had fixed it along with changing the oil. The repo collection agency insists that it is just in storage and not up for auction. The agency also claims they don’t know anything that the agency storing the vehicle does with the vehicle after they take it. I am being told that along with the storage fees I will have to pay for the repairs. Just want to know if it is against the law that they fixed anything on my car to sell it without any notification to me of the intention to sell. And why am I being charged for something I did not authorize. I paid the amount to get my car back but it just seems that they are trying to get more money out of me. On top of all this I had been pushed by the collector when seizing my car as well as being threatened. What is the next step for me to do? All I can get out of the collection agency is that this is why I should have been on top of this….doesn’t explain any of my questions.

    • Eric West

      February 20, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      i don’t know but I wish I would stop getting emailed everytime someone replies to this guys blog. how do I turn this off?

  29. Nickeless

    February 14, 2015 at 12:26 am

    My car was repossessed on Thursday the company wants the full amount I sent the check for the full amount now the problem I am having is the tow place is telling me I need a appointment…??? What is this and what should I do it feels like the tow place is giving me a harder time then coming up with 10,000 in cash… What do I do to get my car out tow place

  30. Guest

    February 6, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    A few months ago my car was repossessed and now the car dealer sent me a tax for 1099-c and now says he will take all my income tax return. I live in Texas can he do this?

  31. latesha

    February 5, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I had a car for less than a month didnt even get it registered the car broke twice in that time so decided to let them keep the car didnt want to get stuck with a no good car they put it on my credit as a repossession and put the entire amount of the car on my credit report the car was 12,000 plus interest and fees when initially got it they say i owe them 12,000 can they do that?

    • Steve Rhode

      February 5, 2015 at 9:24 am

      If you had a credit agreement for the financing on the car and then did not make the payments or handed the car back, the car would be sold at auction and you would owe the difference between the loan amount and the auction sale amount.

      If the car was defective and you want to try to fight this then you should seek assistance from an attorney who is licensed in your state.

  32. raheem

    January 17, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    my creditor didnt take mine a tow truck company did and they auctioned it and i didnt default …do i still have to pay the bank back since i cant get the car back
    and someone else has it

  33. MoonV

    January 15, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Hi there. My car was repo because I lost my job and missed three months of payment. I did whatever I could to get my car back, but sadly I ran out of time. Weeks later, I got a letter form a collection place saying I owe around $748. I haven;t paid it off yet because I live from paycheck to paycheck. Low income. I got letters from the credit union place, but I never bothered opening it up because I was devastated of the whole situation. My car was sold for almost $10000, and I have to pay the remaining close to $6000. But some weeks later, I got a letter from the credit union place about a lifetime insurance and that they have paid off the balance. I’m not sure what this is. If anyone knows, please explain this to me so I can understand. Thanks

    • Eric West

      January 15, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      In my current car contract, I am paying for an insurance that will pay off the loan to the debtor if I default and the car can’t be sold to meet the loan balance. I don’t know what they call this insurance but that’s what it sounds like you had.

      • MoonV

        January 16, 2015 at 11:02 am

        I see. I should do some more research on this and look into my insurance. Thank you!

    • Steve Rhode

      January 15, 2015 at 8:59 pm

      Now there is a comment that went from bad news to potentially good news.

      I’d suggest if the credit union is close that you find time to go talk to them in person and clarify exactly what they are talking about. It could be they had a forced payment protection policy in place to cover the balance due.

      • MoonV

        January 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

        I see. They sent me this a couple of times, but I never bothered signing it. But ok, If that’s the case, I will go talk to them about this. And if they paid off the balance, that would be a relief. Thank you for your time and help. 🙂

  34. Melissa D

    January 8, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Got my car repo and they are saying they don’t know how much I owe because they don’t have any of my receipts and don’t have record. Its a small private dealer and we didn’t use a bank to buy the car. We just gave him a down payment and started making monthly payments. I know its no more than 1,300 that I owe. What should I do??

    • Steve Rhode

      January 9, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Talk to a local consumer attorney who is licensed in your state.

  35. Lillian

    December 8, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    I purchased a car from a guy that is selling car. I paid him $1300 down $2500. The agreement was for me to pay 150 a month until it was paid off beginning on November 1st. I was gone to my daughter’s house on October 31st and he “repossessed ” THE CAR. There was no written agreement on the balance of the car and I had just gotten it on October 14. Tell what can I do about this situation.

    • Steve Rhode

      December 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      There is no finance agreement at all?

      • Lillian

        December 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm

        No… No written one… Just a verbal agreement…

        • Steve Rhode

          December 10, 2014 at 10:52 am

          So what proof do you have what the agreement was?

          You can always file a complaint with your state attorney general office and see if they will get involved.

          Otherwise, hire a local attorney to get an idea if your state law might be able to assist in this situation.

          In the future, get all financial agreements in writing.

  36. Tammy

    November 14, 2014 at 4:58 am

    My daughter went to school with a girl who’s dad owns a car lot . We went in to get her a vehicle she was graduating college in May to become a school teacher . He said because he knew her we could put half down he would let her pay notes on the rest . He told us he didn’t mind working with her at all what ever she needed to do.
    The note is 287.00 a month. After 92 days we had to do repairs on the vehicle which was 600.00 dollars she fell two notes behind. We made contact with his secretary to let her know.
    My daughter brought he daughter to dance class which was across the street from the lot . His secretary had it towed across the street wouldn’t give us her car I talked to the owner he said if he would have knew that she was having it towed he wouldn’t have let that happen.
    He said he would eat the 300.00 towing fee. I went ahead and pd the 600.00 that was behind .
    I had got sick with my kidneys and couldn’t wk. the owner knew I would be making the notes for my daughter until she graduated.
    Two notes fell behind again .
    My daughter graduated went to wk as a teacher I made contact with the carlot told them that her notes would be caught up now to employment.
    The sec agreed and made note of it a payment was sent then the two following months payment was sent leaving one note behind.
    We got a certified letter and court papers wanting the 4000.00 left owing and the sending back the three payments . Mind you they were never three behind just two then one the they refused all and sent it back.
    So know I have the money orders back don’t know what to do with them they are all from Aug sept Oct .
    He made a verbal agreement to myself daughter and husband if there was ever any problem just let him know because he watched ketches up and was proud of her he would help in any way. Now this what should I do we wZnt give him the car he doesn’t know where it is but I still have payments he refused

  37. A.John

    October 7, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I bought a car from a used car lot. I pay my payments to a finance company. the car lot recently contacted me about a gps system in my car and said if i dont bring it to them they will repossess the car. can they do that and i am not behind on any payments.

  38. renee

    August 18, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I have tile to my truck i pay off the truck. I have a bill of sales but i have. Not transfer tile yet his came. And the truck i call the police they told me that this was a civil matter is that true

  39. carol

    October 20, 2013 at 11:26 am

    If I had a car repossed and still owe money after selling it can they take my current car for payment

    • Steve Rhode

      October 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Is this a credit union you owe?

  40. johnjr37

    April 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    i purchased a car over 2 years ago. i paid cash for the car from the owner. it had a clean title. i go to dmv they take the title charge me tax and fees. they told me because it was a p.a title and i live in ny that it will take months for me to get the title. make a long story short this is my first car i own. ove a year of owning the car i call to find out why my title didnt come. i find out that the guy sold me a car that had 2 liens. they wont re-register it until i call the lien holders. i did 1 asked for a copy of the registration. the other wants a bill of sale. i put in for release for bill of sale. the 1 place said they would call me back. 3 weeks later they repo my car out the driveway. i paid 5 grand for the car and put about 5 grand into it. they didnt call me and they messed up my mother inlaws property outside.

  41. Klmflyer

    March 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    My dad passed away and my mom had to file for bankruptcy. My folks used their car as collateral on a loan they used to help pay for hospital bills prior to his death and her filing. The bank put a repo on my mom’s credit, but they did not actually repo the car because it was my mom’s only transportation. They still have her pink slip. The car is barely running, and we don’t know what to do with it if it cannot be repaired. Do you have any ideas?

    • Steve Rhode

      March 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Since they hold the title to the car, let them take it back. Otherwise, contact them and get in writing how they want you to dispose of it considering they are holding the title. It doesn’t sound like the car has much value to it.

  42. lildread09

    March 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    can a dealer repo myr car if idid not pick up the license plate and the insurance go out from them the car is payed up untill may 2013. (In Jacksonville fl)

    • Steve Rhode

      March 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

      I’m afraid I don’t understand the question.

  43. Andrey Alish

    March 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I have 2 judgements against me from credit card debts i was contacted by us marshall by mail that said they can reposess my car and garnish wages .are you saying that if i buy a car that the credit card companies can not reposses my car for judgements ?and i currently dont have a car but if i buy a car it wont be effected by the debt in NY?

  44. Joe

    March 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Hello i had my car repo’d and I was never given papers on repo? What are my rights and am I entitled to copy’s that I signed?

  45. Beverly

    March 2, 2013 at 1:53 am

    The loan company repo’d my car last June. Now they gave me a settlement amount and said when paid in full them they will send me the tile. I thought when they respo’d that I could not have the car back is that true/ Or if I pay for it, will I get the car?

    • Steve Rhode

      March 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      I would confirm they still have the car in their possession before you do anything.

  46. Robb

    February 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

    If my car is repossesed and state sales tax is still owed on it, is that now the dealer or banks problem? Am I liable for it?

    Robb

    • Steve Rhode

      February 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      You are responsible for any fees or charges incurred before the car was disposed of and transferred out of your name.

      • blazafire89

        May 16, 2013 at 1:02 am

        In that case, how would you pay the past fees? Through the DMV? I bought a car and it was repossessed before I paid sales tax on the vehicle.

  47. Daniel Duhigg Jr

    January 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    My wifes car was repossessed and sold befor the 15 day period she had to pay the past due ballence what can she do ?

  48. Whollycrap77

    September 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    even though i only had an accutal balance owed of six thousand dollars wells fargo bank ran it up to eighteen thousand dollars in lawyer fees,interest and pentalies.

  49. Peppercornbarbie

    August 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    When I traded my Avenger in for my Stratus the dealership told me that the title I had for the Avenger wasn’t good enough and I needed to go purchase one. This would’ve coost me $150 plus my temp tags on the Stratus were about to expire. The dealership refused to send my paperwork for my license plates to the state of COso I could get my plates saying that they were witholding the paperwork until I gave them a purchased title for th Avr. This in turn resulted in my license getting suspended because the dmv did not have record of the Stratus belonging to me, only the Avenger which the dealership had possession of. As a result of that I was arrested 3 times for driving w/o a license and my Stratus was impounded. The finance company put a hold on my car even tho I offered to pay the one pmt I was behind and get one ahead. They are demanding the full amount of the loan and impound fees. The car is still sitting in the impound incurring daily storage fees. What can I do to get my car back? I have an atty for the driving charges but I cannot afford to give the finance company $6000.00

  50. tina

    August 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    My was repoed but I have half of the money to pay it off can they accept that and I’m willing to pay off the rest weekly would that work for getting my car back or do I have to pay the whole balance before getting my car back.

    • Steve Rhode

      August 25, 2012 at 10:18 am

      You will need to negotiate this with your lender.

  51. Ewest305

    August 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    I had a repossession with re-instatement. I was without a car for several weeks before then. When I went to get my stuff from the towing company, the woman handed me the wrong items (someone else’s belongings). I told her and she said I would have to come back another day, that there is no one there to find my stuff. So I come back and they pull this fast one on me: that I don’t have a right to my stuff after so many days. I had close to 900 dollars worth of cd’s. I reminded them of the fact that I was present before the deadline and they just kept repeating the same line. I tried to make a claim with the creditor but they ignored it, essentially playing the same game. Why can they do this people? Do I have any grounds for a lawsuit?

  52. Lidia

    July 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    When I made my last auto payment to a Texas lender, I was then informed by the bank teller that the lender will not release the car title because I owe $255 in collection fees dated back to 2005 and 2007.  This is 2012 and I’m just being notified about this??!!! I didn’t even know what the fees was for!  The lender said tjey notified me about these fees one week prior to my last payment.  The mail was returned because I had moved.  I WAS LIVID!  They waited until I make my final payment to tell me about some late fees from 5 to 6 years ago??!!!! Can they repossess my car? What is the statue of limitations in Texas to collect a debt?  It’s been two months and I refuse to pay these fees, yet they keep calling me.  I’m aware that it could be charged off on my credit, but my credit score is 760, so I ain’t worried about one blemish.  It certainly won’t drop by score that low to prevent me from getting future credit.

  53. BerryhillleslI

    July 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I had my car repossed. They (Fireside bank) sold it for only 2000.00 im assuming because they garnished my wages for 7000.00. I made payment arrangements what i could pay each month this stopped so I thought they were good with what they garnished. Now they are garnishing my husbands wages and I want to know what if any rights I have? We have had four bad years with foreclosure, garnishments and i feel like we have no other choice than to file bankruptcy and we really don’t want to do this.

  54. Pauldbean

    June 30, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    can i sue for them lying or for harassment

    • Steve Rhode

      July 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      It’s America. You can sue anyone, for anything, at anytime. The question is, do you have a case. You’ll have to check with a local attorney that is licensed in your state to know more about that.

  55. Pauldbean

    June 30, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    can your car get repo for one late payment or for repeated payed late under 30 days my lender is try or lying to me about that being possible

  56. Bballchick460

    June 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    My exhusband and I bought a car and he put it in his name but we used my car as collateral. But his car just got repossesed is there anything I can do to keep my car or get both if I can make the payments?

    • Steve Rhode

      June 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      Call the lender that repossessed his car immediately and bring the past due balance plus repossession fees current and/or negotiate a solution with them. Otherwise, talk to a local bankruptcy attorney immediately.

  57. Barb

    May 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    My car was repossessed and I was given a payoff amt.  They would not re-instate my loan due to being unemployed.  I decided to borrow the amt from a family member and I then sent them the payoff amt via Western Union.  Picked up car and paid them their fees and they released the car to me after they were given permission to release the car.  After almost 2 weeks, car company called and they did not give me the correct payoff amt…forgot to include repossession fee.  They claim it was not posted to my account even though I called and was told (by machine) that I had a balance of approx $277.  Can they come back and demand the additional funds?  They gave me the payoff number knowing that the car had been repossessed, so they made the mistake.  He claims I am not complying with my contract.  They gave permission to the repo company to release the car to me.  Do I have any recourse here?

  58. Sierrabear03

    April 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I had a car repo’d back in 2001 and I just now get a letter from an attorneys office for repayment. Can they do this? It has been over 11 years and it is now off my credit as of 5 years ago almost…….

  59. Dloove75

    April 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    My problem is not REPO, my problem are all the threats the comapny leavs on messages or send in writing for $95.00 dollars and 3 days late. i told them i can only pay of Tuesdays bc/ i lost my job and i am collecting unemployment, noy only that when i go the car under warranty they did not want to fix the exhaust and the Ac blower they gave me a lame excused and i had to pay 300 out of my pocket. Everytime, i mention this i get their speech. Right now the cars transmission is gone, i have 3 months left to pay it off, I asked if they can meet mme half way since they still owe me from the $300 that came out of my pocket. Answer was no. what should i do. i have no money to fix it but i have to pay for something that is not working. i also found out the suv was in a wreck before i bought it.

  60. John

    March 12, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    If I live in another state from where my vehicle was repossessed 4 years ago can I be sued in the state I live. Or is it the state the vehicle was repossessed. They never told me it was going to be sold at auction. I don’t have anything on my credit report saying repossession.

    Thank you

  61. Flutterflymom

    February 1, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I took my car to the lender dure it doesnt run and told them i couldnt afford a 4000.00 motor i am on disablity .I just had a 2000.00 tansmission put in it and refinaced the loan with collateral from my house like tvs and such can they take this>? even if i am on disablity .or can i just say they are broke and threw them out how can i avoid taking my things?

  62. Kalari26267

    January 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I had my vehicles repossessed through a Credit Union in AZ. I was current on one and behind 2 payments on the other. I have been late before and they were fine with it and then they decided they weren’t fine with it and wouldn’t work with me. Told them to go ahead then and repossess the one and they said that I would end up having the other repossessed as well due to some thing CU’s can do in their contracts about other accounts through them OR they could attach the balance from the one vehicle that was going to be repossessed onto our other vehicle. I did have them both repossessed a few months later.

    I then received a letter saying they were sold and I owe a substantial amount on them both still. a deficiency on both of them. I never received a letter saying when and where they were to be sold, how much for, etc. For all I know they could have just kept them and stated they were sold and charging me almost 10,000 still on both of them each.

    Now it has been 7 months and have had no contact with them. My question is do they have to go to court and get a judgement against me to take my tax return this year or could they just take it if they want too?

  63. Kalari26267

    January 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I had my vehicles repossessed through a Credit Union in AZ. I was current on one and behind 2 payments on the other. I have been late before and they were fine with it and then they decided they weren’t fine with it and wouldn’t work with me. Told them to go ahead then and repossess the one and they said that I would end up having the other repossessed as well due to some thing CU’s can do in their contracts about other accounts through them OR they could attach the balance from the one vehicle that was going to be repossessed onto our other vehicle. I did have them both repossessed a few months later.

    I then received a letter saying they were sold and I owe a substantial amount on them both still. a deficiency on both of them. I never received a letter saying when and where they were to be sold, how much for, etc. For all I know they could have just kept them and stated they were sold and charging me almost 10,000 still on both of them each.

    Now it has been 7 months and have had no contact with them. My question is do they have to go to court and get a judgement against me to take my tax return this year or could they just take it if they want too?

  64. LaDarius

    December 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    The used car dealer that I bought my car from repossessed my car and kept the tires and rims on it that I purchased and won’t give them back and take back his original tires and rims that came with it. Also, the car is already back on his lot for sale. The balance I owed is $2500. He has a $4950 price on the windshield. Can he sell the car for that much and keep everything or am I owed something?

    • LaDarius

      December 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm

      The used car dealer that I bought my car from repossessed my car and kept the tires and rims on it that I purchased and won’t give them back and take back his original tires and rims that came with it. Also, the car is already back on his lot for sale. The balance I owed is $2500. He has a $4950 price on the windshield. Can he sell the car for that much and keep everything or am I owed something? Oh, yeah. I am in North Carolina.

  65. LaDarius

    December 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    The used car dealer that I bought my car from repossessed my car and kept the tires and rims on it that I purchased and won’t give them back and take back his original tires and rims that came with it. Also, the car is already back on his lot for sale. The balance I owed is $2500. He has a $4950 price on the windshield. Can he sell the car for that much and keep everything or am I owed something?

  66. Yjoinme

    November 6, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Hi.. My truck was repoed for no insurance and i made arrangements with the lot to provide proof of insurance and make my next payment. After i complied with the agreement and made a payment, the owner of the dealership refused to release the truck to me. Also several personal items were missing and they ordered me off of the lot with no explanations. I have the receipts of both the payment and the insurance that was faxed to them. Isn’t that illegal for them to take a payment and not give me my truck back? Mind you…I’ve Never,never been late or missed a payment!

  67. rosie

    August 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I’m not behind but rather late on my payments. The Customer Service rep says that if I’m late again they will collect the car. No Right to Cure notice has been sent, and when I told her that she cannot take possession of the vehicle until she sends a right to cure and waits the time the law allows. The Customer Service rep says that they sometimes send a letter, but most times it’s verbal and it’s “we’re coming to take your car”. The Bank is Crescent Bank & Trust in LA. There are pages upon pages of complaints on this company. Do they have the right to come and take the car if I’m days late not months?

    • Dayshacallaway

      December 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      Thats what im trying to figure out i was in my ten day grace period.

    • Dayshacallaway

      December 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      Thats what im trying to figure out i was in my ten day grace period.

  68. Concerned

    July 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I surrendered by vehicl because I could not afford the payments, they auctioned it, and now say I owe the difference.  Is there anything I can do

  69. pete

    July 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    if i claim the the car back should i be concerned that they destroyed the car getting it on the flat bed

  70. pete

    July 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

    if i claim the the car back should i be concerned that they destroyed the car getting it on the flat bed

  71. Repdc1999

    May 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    My vehicle was repossessed back in 2006. I have not made any payments toward the balance because they told me the amount i agreed to would not even pay down the principle. I can’t afford a payment even now because i do not make enough money. The amount they trying to claim is around $11,000 (Originally it was around $6,000). What should i do about this?

  72. Repdc1999

    May 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    My vehicle was repossessed back in 2006. I have not made any payments toward the balance because they told me the amount i agreed to would not even pay down the principle. I can’t afford a payment even now because i do not make enough money. The amount they trying to claim is around $11,000 (Originally it was around $6,000). What should i do about this?

  73. Steve Rhode

    May 12, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I’d find a local attorney to help. You seem to have a good argument.

  74. Southernlady0166

    May 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I live in Colorado which has under UCC law debtor must be sent a Right To Cure letter if debtor falls behind on car payments, giving them 20 days to bring payments current. I had never even been 1 month late. However in April I did fall almost 3 weeks late, informed them last Tues pymt was mailed, on Thur my vehicle was repo’d, they received the payment on Friday – however I was never even sent that Right To Cure letter. (This is a finance company – something the dcealer didn’t disclose to me at time of sale) – Since RTC letter was never sent wouldn’t this make the repo illegal and since they had received the pymt that Fri and no payment is even due now, wouldn’t they have to return the vehicle??

  75. Southernlady0166

    May 11, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    I live in Colorado which has under UCC law debtor must be sent a Right To Cure letter if debtor falls behind on car payments, giving them 20 days to bring payments current. I had never even been 1 month late. However in April I did fall almost 3 weeks late, informed them last Tues pymt was mailed, on Thur my vehicle was repo’d, they received the payment on Friday – however I was never even sent that Right To Cure letter. (This is a finance company – something the dcealer didn’t disclose to me at time of sale) – Since RTC letter was never sent wouldn’t this make the repo illegal and since they had received the pymt that Fri and no payment is even due now, wouldn’t they have to return the vehicle??

    • Steve Rhode

      May 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm

      I’d find a local attorney to help. You seem to have a good argument.

    • Cassh626

      January 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      This just happened to me also. My car was repossessed today and I have proof that I was never late on any payment for over two years. I am going to talk to an attorney and see what legal action I can take. I am absolutely livid right now!!

  76. Robert

    April 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing this valuable information about your rights before, during and after repossession. Very good and useful tips. 5*
    credit with bad credit

  77. Steve Rhode

    March 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

    The first thing is to send a certified letter, return receipt requested, to the bank documenting your deployment status. Next, kick your family in the butt and get them to contact the bank and make arrangements to begin payments right away.

  78. Christal Cooper

    March 19, 2011 at 3:16 am

    im in the military and im on deployment and appearantly my family was not making payments on my car and the dealer ship bout the car back from the bank and is now trying to repo the car what should i do

  79. Christal Cooper

    March 19, 2011 at 7:16 am

    im in the military and im on deployment and appearantly my family was not making payments on my car and the dealer ship bout the car back from the bank and is now trying to repo the car what should i do

    • Steve Rhode

      March 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      The first thing is to send a certified letter, return receipt requested, to the bank documenting your deployment status. Next, kick your family in the butt and get them to contact the bank and make arrangements to begin payments right away.

  80. Steve Rhode

    February 25, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    I don’t know what your contract said. Why not just pay the tax?

  81. Tamikawatson28

    February 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I paid $3000 dollars for my car and have not paid the $265 tax balance thats due, do that give the salesman a right to repo car, being that we are not under a security agreement?

  82. Tamikawatson28

    February 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I paid $3000 dollars for my car and have not paid the $265 tax balance thats due, do that give the salesman a right to repo car, being that we are not under a security agreement?

    • Steve Rhode

      February 26, 2011 at 4:55 am

      I don’t know what your contract said. Why not just pay the tax?

  83. Mona

    February 7, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Hi, I’m in the same situation. Are you able to make payments on the difference that you owe?

  84. Steve Rhode

    December 30, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    That’s the way it works. They sell you car at auction and then bill you for the difference between the sale price and the balance owed.

    You may want to speak to a bankruptcy attorney.

  85. L3iduh_1985

    December 30, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    We just recently got our vehicle repossessed. We couldn’t afford the monthly $470 payment any longer so we did a voluntary repo. Now the repo collection agent is asking us to pay the full $9000 balance on the car. But we do not have that money and cannot afford to pay it in full. If we had that money otherwise, why would we even have the car repossessed in the first place?! Now, is there any way or law that says we can make payment arrangement instead that would fit our paycheck to paycheck income? Thanks!

  86. L3iduh_1985

    December 30, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    We just recently got our vehicle repossessed. We couldn’t afford the monthly $470 payment any longer so we did a voluntary repo. Now the repo collection agent is asking us to pay the full $9000 balance on the car. But we do not have that money and cannot afford to pay it in full. If we had that money otherwise, why would we even have the car repossessed in the first place?! Now, is there any way or law that says we can make payment arrangement instead that would fit our paycheck to paycheck income? Thanks!

    • Steve Rhode

      December 30, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      That’s the way it works. They sell you car at auction and then bill you for the difference between the sale price and the balance owed.

      You may want to speak to a bankruptcy attorney.

    • Mona

      February 8, 2011 at 12:00 am

      Hi, I’m in the same situation. Are you able to make payments on the difference that you owe?

  87. Steve Rhode

    December 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    They won’t take your income tax but they will probably go after you for the balance due as the co-signer.

  88. Manda915

    December 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    If I co-signed for a car loan and they let the car get repo will they take my income tax?

  89. Manda915

    December 8, 2010 at 12:48 am

    If I co-signed for a car loan and they let the car get repo will they take my income tax?

    • Steve Rhode

      December 8, 2010 at 2:00 am

      They won’t take your income tax but they will probably go after you for the balance due as the co-signer.

  90. Joshua Gabert

    December 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    The credit Union is goign through my dealer ship. Im not sure how all these hidden fees and things work. This is my first Repo. But that would make sense not to have any fees from my dealership if I was going through a Credit Union?

  91. Joshua McEntarfer

    December 4, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Yes. That is my exact predicament. Unless I pay the Towing Fee. I can not get my Items. Is this legal?

  92. Steve Rhode

    December 4, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Okay, so it is not a fee for access to the items but it is a towing fee that is currently owed. Is that right?

    So the position is that unless you have paid the pre-existing fee, then you don’t have free access to the contents. If you paid the fee then you would be able to get the items because your fees would all be paid to whoever has the vehicle right now. Is that right?

  93. Merovingian TV

    December 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I assume these laws & policies are irrelevant if it’s a Credit Union Auto Loan?

  94. Merovingian TV

    December 4, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I assume these laws & policies are irrelevant if it’s a Credit Union Auto Loan?

    • Joshua Gabert

      December 4, 2010 at 11:10 pm

      The credit Union is goign through my dealer ship. Im not sure how all these hidden fees and things work. This is my first Repo. But that would make sense not to have any fees from my dealership if I was going through a Credit Union?

  95. Joshua Mcentarfer

    December 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    “Secured Items” in the contract stipulate “….any item within physical connection to said vehicle. Any attchement to vehicle that cannot be simply removed without usage of any mechanical tool or device…” Such as a car stereo, amp, rims, tires, gauges, head lights etc. in other words I understand that “Secured Items” are exactly as it states. Secured to the vehicle. I called my car dealership and asked for clearification on “Secured Items” and what I quoted you is what he told me. So my confusion is rising. lol…however even if I can find a way just to get my sons things that I need, Diaper bag, Stroller, Car seat, and records. I can leave all the rest. They are just material things that can be replaced. But my dealership is telling me that I have no authority to any of my belongings unless I pay this $125.00 for towing fees. My contract clearly states I have legal and fee less access to my belongings. I feel like im being pushed around. What step shoul I take?

  96. Steve Rhode

    December 4, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    How does the agreement define “Secured Items?” Are those items which are now under their security or in the secured vehicle? It seems like there is more to that term.

  97. Joshua Gabert

    December 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Right. However my terms state that they can claim the service fee for “Secured Items”. The property i am requesting is “Un Secured”. Such as my mp3, car seat, stroller, flu shot and hep shot records for my son and his diaper bag. These are major items that I need. Im not asking for my stero or such things that are Secured with the vehicle.

  98. Steve Rhode

    December 4, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    You’d have to check with the terms of the sales contract and/or an attorney in Idaho. On the surface though it sounds like a service fee.

  99. Joshua McEntarfer

    December 4, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Yes. However, you must fill out an IT (321-85) form and follow process to have have your credit report reflect changes. It is a simple process to be done at your local court house. This usually will vary, depending on your state, 15.00/75.00.

  100. Joshua Gabert

    December 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I recently had my Car repossesed. The company that took my car is now trying to charge me 125 dollars to collect my un secured property. Is this Legal? I live in IDAHO

  101. Joshua Gabert

    December 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I recently had my Car repossesed. The company that took my car is now trying to charge me 125 dollars to collect my un secured property. Is this Legal? I live in IDAHO

    • Steve Rhode

      December 4, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      You’d have to check with the terms of the sales contract and/or an attorney in Idaho. On the surface though it sounds like a service fee.

      • Joshua Gabert

        December 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm

        Right. However my terms state that they can claim the service fee for “Secured Items”. The property i am requesting is “Un Secured”. Such as my mp3, car seat, stroller, flu shot and hep shot records for my son and his diaper bag. These are major items that I need. Im not asking for my stero or such things that are Secured with the vehicle.

        • Steve Rhode

          December 4, 2010 at 8:02 pm

          How does the agreement define “Secured Items?” Are those items which are now under their security or in the secured vehicle? It seems like there is more to that term.

          • Joshua Mcentarfer

            December 4, 2010 at 8:11 pm

            “Secured Items” in the contract stipulate “….any item within physical connection to said vehicle. Any attchement to vehicle that cannot be simply removed without usage of any mechanical tool or device…” Such as a car stereo, amp, rims, tires, gauges, head lights etc. in other words I understand that “Secured Items” are exactly as it states. Secured to the vehicle. I called my car dealership and asked for clearification on “Secured Items” and what I quoted you is what he told me. So my confusion is rising. lol…however even if I can find a way just to get my sons things that I need, Diaper bag, Stroller, Car seat, and records. I can leave all the rest. They are just material things that can be replaced. But my dealership is telling me that I have no authority to any of my belongings unless I pay this $125.00 for towing fees. My contract clearly states I have legal and fee less access to my belongings. I feel like im being pushed around. What step shoul I take?

          • Steve Rhode

            December 4, 2010 at 8:32 pm

            Okay, so it is not a fee for access to the items but it is a towing fee that is currently owed. Is that right?

            So the position is that unless you have paid the pre-existing fee, then you don’t have free access to the contents. If you paid the fee then you would be able to get the items because your fees would all be paid to whoever has the vehicle right now. Is that right?

          • Joshua McEntarfer

            December 4, 2010 at 11:09 pm

            Yes. That is my exact predicament. Unless I pay the Towing Fee. I can not get my Items. Is this legal?

  102. Art

    November 17, 2010 at 3:20 am

    my creditor repo my vehicle and paid it off the next day.
    My credit report shows a notation reading:Repossession redeemed.
    Can the creditor change that repo notation, or eliminate it?

  103. Art

    November 17, 2010 at 8:20 am

    my creditor repo my vehicle and paid it off the next day.
    My credit report shows a notation reading:Repossession redeemed.
    Can the creditor change that repo notation, or eliminate it?

    • Joshua McEntarfer

      December 4, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      Yes. However, you must fill out an IT (321-85) form and follow process to have have your credit report reflect changes. It is a simple process to be done at your local court house. This usually will vary, depending on your state, 15.00/75.00.

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