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Does the California Repossession Law Let Them Take My Car? – Freyja

Repo Truck

“Dear Steve,

We have a car loan with the dealership and we made a payment on July 20th.

Our payments are usually do on the 8th and we a 10 day window before a late fee is assessed. On Aug 4th they repossessed my car and when I called the dealership they told me I never made a payment and when I told them I made a payment on July 20th they told me that they were sorry but in order for me to get my car back I would have to pay the repossession fee because I failed to tell them that I made a payment.

They also told me if I don’t pay the fees in 15 days then they will sell the car.

What are my legal rights and what can I do to help my case? Is this even legal what they are doing? I live in California.


Dear Freyja,

It sounds like you made a payment outside the delinquency window which would have ended on the 18th. Your statement that the dealership said you should have called makes me believe that you were making your payments to some other location, maybe a centralized payment processing center.

Most likely what happened was that when you missed the delinquency period your car was assigned out for repossession.

At this point you have two choices. You can either consult a local attorney for legal advice concerning your situation or you can pay the repo fee and get your car back. If you decide to do that, I would do it quickly before your car is sold at auction.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About Steve Rhode

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.

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