Note I said “wrongfully” repossession. If you are delinquent on payments or allow your insurance to lapse or otherwise violate your finance agreement or other contractual obligation I may be unable to assist you. The repossession would likely be legal but you may be able to work out a deal to recover your vehicle. Depending on the situation, some lenders may require you pay the remaining loan balance plus all past due payments, late fees, and repossession fees before they will return the vehicle to you. Hopefully your lender would allow you to just pay the past due amounts and allow you to regain your vehicle so you can resume making payments.
Wrongful repossession refers to situations where the consumer’s vehicle is taken with no valid reason and/or in an unfair manner. While creditors and lenders usually repossess vehicles because a consumer falls behind in payments or allows the vehicle insurance to lapse there can be multiple other legitimate reasons for the taking—read your purchase documents. Even if a creditor has the right to take your vehicle there are some rules of the road regarding retrieving the vehicle. The general rule is that the vehicle can be taken so long as there is no violence or breach of the peace; typically no prior notice is required before the vehicle is taken.
If you believe you have been the victim of a wrongful repossession, please assemble as many of the following documents as you can and contact me for a consultation:
- Bill of Sale a/k/a Buyer’s Order
- Retail installment sales contract a/k/a finance contract
- Receipts or proof of all vehicle payments made by you
- Security agreement (typically gives seller and/or lender the right to repossess vehicle if breach of contract occurs)
- All certificates of repossession
- Correspondence or notices from seller or lender regarding potential deficiencies or breach of contract by you
- All other documents you received on the date you purchased the vehicle