Kind and Experienced Legal Advocacy to Help You Understand Your Rights
There are a few reasons your car may be repossessed, such as if you are late on your monthly car payments or fail to maintain your insurance. In any case, if you have questions about your rights in such a situation and your legal options for getting your property back, reach out to an experienced vehicle repossession lawyer for guidance. Attorney Regina M. Vasquez has been handling these kinds of matters for years, and she can help you figure out how to get your car back and avoid future repossession actions.
A creditor has the right to repossess a vehicle without providing advance notice to the vehicle owner if the vehicle owner has defaulted on a written agreement, such as for monthly payments or car insurance obligations. In many situations, vehicles are the property that secures installment loans, so if the individual has breached the terms of their contract, their vehicle may be repossessed.
In car repossession situations, a repo man (someone hired by the creditor to repossess the asset) has the right to enter the vehicle owner’s property at any time. They cannot, however, enter the house without permission. Property can be repossessed by the creditor or by a repo man as long as the process does not involve a “breach of the peace,” or violence. Note that it is against the law to prevent repossession of the vehicle or threaten the person that has come to repossess it. Doing so violates the security agreement and may result in criminal penalties.
Any personal property that has been left in the vehicle must not be taken by the creditor. The owner may request their personal property be returned from inside the vehicle. If the property is not returned, they may file a lawsuit in small claims court for the fair market value of the property at the time of the loss.
A vehicle repossession will stay on a person’s credit report for 7 years. Filing for bankruptcy may halt repossession and may allow for the return of the property if the petitioner can make the payments associated with that property.
The best way to get a repossessed vehicle back is by paying the debt in full (e.g., the debt and the payments the person has fallen behind on) before the creditor sells or auctions off the vehicle. Keep in mind there may be additional handling costs on top of the debt owed.
If the vehicle owner cannot redeem the vehicle, it will most likely be sold at an auction or a private sale. The vehicle owner has the right to advance notice of the time and place of any public sale and the right to notice of the date after which a private sale can be made.
The proceeds of a sale cover the cost of the repossession action, storage of the car, preparation for sale, and the costs of the sale itself. Any remaining proceeds will be used to pay the original vehicle owner’s debt. If the proceeds from the sale don’t cover the costs completely, the creditor may choose to file a lawsuit against the vehicle owner to compensate for the deficiency. On the other hand, if there is money left after the sale and paying the debt, the creditor must pay it to the debtor.
Vehicle repossession can feel overwhelming. After all, no one wants a repo man to come into their property unannounced and take away their personal vehicle. How will you get to work? How will you bring the children to school? What else will be taken after the car? Vasquez Law Group is here to provide legal support and guide you through the repossession process and how you can redeem your property afterward. We handle a range of bankruptcy matters and can help you combat repossession for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, for one.
“Bankruptcy is never easy, but if you have to go through it, I guarantee you that you want Vasquez Law Group in your corner!”- N. Walker
I have been practicing exclusively in bankruptcy law since November 2011. I have designed my firm to be dedicated to assisting people in their time of financial need. I am also a counselor for my clients to guide them through a very stressful time.