Repossession Guide

Auto Repossession Section


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Auto Repossession Article

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´╗┐Consumer Information On Auto Repossession


As a consumer it is always important to understand the laws that apply to being a borrower and buying a vehicle on payments. Auto repossession is something that no consumer thinks will ever apply to them, however there are tragedies and changes in employment and income earning ability that can happen very unexpectedly, leaving the consumer without the ability to make a car payment and resulting in a possible auto repossession.

The first step in protecting yourself both now and in the future from auto repossession is to read and completely understand your purchase and financing agreement with the seller. This means taking the time to read all the fine print on the sales contact and financing documents. If you don't understand a particular clause or item, ask about the issue or ask to take the document to your attorney for information. No reputable dealership will have a problem with a legal professional looking over the sales or financing information. If the company seems unwilling to do so, find a different dealership or individual.

The second important factor is to understand under what conditions the lender will start the auto repossession process. How many payments have to be missed before your vehicle will be repossessed? Know what the laws are in your state regarding the rights that you have as a consumer and the right the repossession companies and their agents have. In most states the vehicle can be seized anywhere in public, which may mean your business or employment area parking lot, a shopping mall, movie theatre or any other public parking space. In some states the vehicle may also be subject to auto repossession on your property provided it is not in a locked area or garage.

If the vehicle has been repossessed, you have fewer options to deal with the problem than working with the lender prior to the seizure of the car. If you find yourself unable to make a payment, call the lender and try to work something out, especially if you have corrected the financial issue that is preventing you from making the payment. If you have lost your job but have found another and are missing a pay period due to the transition, your lender will typically work with you to either add a payment on to the end of the loan or accept a partial payment and additional balance payment with the next monthly loan installment. You may be charged a service fee but this is a small price to pay to keep your vehicle and prevent the negative impact of an auto repossession on your credit score.