How to Avoid the Repo Man when You're Late on Your Car Payments

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Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


, - July 3, 2018

While it’s illegal to hide your car from the repo man – or take part in anything crazy such as sleeping in your vehicle in order to prevent it from happening – you’re entitled to some rights during the repo process.

What are My Rights?

Depending on the state you live in, the lender can repossess your car at any moment without notice. While you can’t stop repossession from occurring if your vehicle is out in the open, there are important rights you have as a car owner that the repo man or lender must follow:

  • Your personal items are yours, and they can’t keep them if your vehicle is repossessed.
  • If your car is parked in a closed garage, the repo company can’t legally take your vehicle. They can’t use force, either, such as breaking down garage doors. If they do, it’s considered a “breach of peace,” which is illegal.
  • Because lenders will more than likely sell these cars at auction, they’re required to let you know when and where the auction will take place. This gives you time to redeem the vehicle or reinstate the car loan.

If the lender or repo man doesn’t follow the rules, you have a right to take legal action against them. Force isn’t allowed in the repossession process, and any personal items should never be kept from you – even after the repo takes place.

Preventing Repossession

So, if you miss a payment and your car is subject to repossession, how do you stop it from happening? While stopping a repossession isn’t guaranteed, if you’re unable to make a payment it’s important that you contact your lender as soon as possible to let them know what’s going on. Most lenders don’t want repossession to happen, and many are more than willing to work with borrowers. Ask them if there are any options available to prevent repossession. It’s best to communicate instead of leaving your lender in the dark about your current situation.

Getting a Car After a Repo

The best way to prevent repossession from occurring is to contact your lender ahead of time. Discuss your situation with them, and see if they can help you out. If it’s too late, your vehicle has been repossessed, and you’re in need of a new one, let CarsDirect help.

We work with a network of dealerships that are experts in special finance, so they have the lenders that know how to help consumers dealing with credit problems like a past repossession. We'll start the process of matching you with a local dealership – just fill out our free car loan request form online to begin.

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Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


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