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Understanding Repossession

Fighting Vehicle Seizure

Like most people, you probably rely on your car to get you to work every day, run errands, and function normally in your day-to-day life. If you are facing significant financial difficulties, you might not be able to pay your creditor the money you owe on you vehicle. If your card payment is ignored for too long, your creditor or lessor may repossess your vehicle. This can be devastating. Not only are you left with no means to get to work, you may have to pay for public transportation when you already can't afford to pay off your other financial obligations.

In most states, your creditor will seize your car as soon as you default on your automobile lease or loan. Your loan may default if you fail to make payments on time. Depending on your contract, you not be given much time to make up payments before your car is taken. If, at any time, your creditor agrees to extend the period of time you have to make a payment, your previous contract may not be legally valid any more. Make sure you get this agreement in writing – oral agreements are useless in court.

If your creditor or lessor takes your car before he/she can do so legally, you may be compensated for any damages done to your vehicle or other financial losses you suffered because of the car's absence. If you believe that your car has been repossessed illegally, talk to an attorney from The Price Law Group today; we are ready to stand up for your rights in court. We understand how inconvenient losing your car can be and will do everything in our power to get it back to you.

Will my car be sold?

After your creditor or lessor seizes your automobile, he/she may decide to keep it as compensation for your debts and sell it. Depending on where you live, your creditor may be obligated to tell you what happened to your car – whether or not it was sold. Generally speaking, if your creditor decides to sell your car, it will be put up for public auction. If you want to, you may attend the auction and try to buy it back. Sometimes, you can get your car back by pay off the debt in full. This includes interest, remaining payments and any expenses the debtor paid in relationship to the repossession such as storage, etc.

Personal Possessions Left in the Car

In many states, your creditor is required to contact you with a list items left in your car and instructions explaining how to retrieve them. It is illegal for any of your personal belongings to be kept from you or sold for profit. Additionally, your creditor is responsible to keep your belonging safe. This means that he/she may be held responsible for any personal belongings stolen from the automobile or damaged during repossession or storage of the car. If your creditor attempts to keep or is unable to account for your personal belongings, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you speak to an attorney to discuss your legal rights.

Avoiding Automobile Seizure

The FTC states that it is usually easier to fight repossession before the car is seized than to dispute it after your car is taken. In some cases, you may be able to convince your creditor not to take your vehicle. If you know that your payment will be late, contact your creditor immediately. Repossession is expensive for creditors – they don't want consumers to default on their loans. Your creditor or lessor is more likely to allow you to pay your bill a little bit late if you contact him/her and explain the situation. If your creditor knows that you intend on making your payment, he/she may be more forgiving and postpone repossession.

If your lessor or creditor demands that you make your payments on time, it may be in your best interest to voluntarily give your car back. If you give your vehicle back voluntarily, your creditor will not have to pay as many repossession fees – fees that you would be responsible for. In this situation, you are still obligated to pay the remaining balance on your vehicle. Also: your creditor may enter additional, late payments on your credit report. If you are facing severe financial difficulties and plan on filing bankruptcy, the FTC recommends speaking to an attorney immediately. At The Price Law Group, we are ready to answer any questions you have about repossession and bankruptcy.

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