Car Repoed? You Still Have Rights.

August 19, 2008
By: LemonLaw

As our roller coaster economy continues its downward spiral, repo men are unfortunately having their best year ever.  In an article which recently ran in New York Newsday, the number of cars, boats, motorcycles, and trucks being repossessed has been growing as more Americans are struggling to make ends meet. According to a consultant who works for the National Automotive Finance Association, “the first quarter of 2008 brought the auto finance industry a significant increase in delinquencies and repossessions.”

So, how can you take control if you are facing repossession?

First, you may want to proactively address the issue with your lender to see if they can restructure the loan or payment schedule.  Banks don’t normally like to repo vehicles; they lose thousands on each vehicle repoed so they will work with you to try and prevent it. You can also enlist the help of a credit counselor to negotiate with the lender. Newsday recommends the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 800-388-2227.

Lastly, you should look into enlisting a consumer attorney to make sure that your rights were not violated. The creditor may not have the right to repo the car.  For instance, if the seller committed fraud, misrepresentation or illegal practices in selling the vehicle, the creditor is responsible for their wrongdoing.  Therefore, the contract may be null and void and they may be prevented from repossessing the car. In addition, the bank may be responsible for compensating the consumer for the seller’s actions.

Furthermore, repo men may not trespass onto your property or use threats of force. And, while they don’t have to provide prior notice, they must immediately provide you notice in person or via certified mail which outlines the debtor; the vehicle; the location of the car; whether or not the buyer can reinstate the contract; the time, place and manner of resale; an itemized statement of amounts owed; including any repossession charges; and a list of the location and personal property contained in the vehicle. The letter must be sent no less than 15 days before the date of resale.

If your car has been repoed, and you feel your rights have been violated, please contact us and we will be glad to discuss the matter with you.

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One Response to “Car Repoed? You Still Have Rights.”

  1. #1 kelley rose says:

    Please tell me where to go to get help. A man came last week and took my car-he had no written notice, I never received a letter stating any thing was amiss since they cashed my payment a few weeks before they took it, they sent people around asking my neighbors if I still lived there, they called me at least 20 times a day saying I missed a payment back in February and told me I was late and being charged during my grace period each month. I tried working with them and they refused unless I had them take the payments out each month on the 13th which I don’t always have the money on that day. I was making payments each month. My car payments were $486.00 and in June I made a $686 payment to them to try and fend them off. They took my car any way with out warning. My 5 year old is traumatized that a man was banging on my door at 3 am saying he was taking my car and to give him the keys, I’ve lost 12 pounds because I am so upset over this situation. I’m a single mom and was making payments to the car each month. I never expected this to happen. Please help me.

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