Your Rights During Repossession

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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.


, - March 20, 2018

If you’re dealing with a repossession, it’s important to understand what’s allowed and what isn’t during the process.

Four Things to Remember

When a car is repossessed, it falls into the hands of the lender. Depending on the state the borrower lives in, the lender can seize the car without notice. But when the repossession takes place, there are four things the borrower needs to be aware of:

  1. Borrowers are entitled to personal possessions left in the car – The lender or repossession agency isn’t allowed to keep any personal items left inside the car. If the vehicle is repossessed and the borrower realizes they left items in the vehicle, they can contact the lender and get them back.
  2. Property must not be damaged – If the vehicle is inside a closed garage, the repo service can’t remove it. The lender’s agents aren’t allowed to break down doors or force themselves onto the borrower’s property if the vehicle is concealed.
  3. No unnecessary force – Any further action that’s considered a “breach of peace” in order to repo the vehicle is illegal. This includes verbal threats or physical assault toward the borrower.
  4. Lender has to tell about sale – The lender will most likely sell the vehicle at auction and is required to tell the borrower where and when it'll take place. This way, a borrower has a little time to arrange a vehicle redemption or loan reinstatement.

If any of these four rights are violated during the repo process, we recommended borrowers discuss their situation with a lawyer to figure out what should be done about the situation.

Bottom Line

It’s important you know your rights during repossession. Going through the repo process can be tough, but if you’re out of a car getting financed can be even tougher. If your car 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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