Auto Repossession Help

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New cars are repossessed
New cars are repossessed (Image: The new powerful car in modern city image by terex from Fotolia.com)

With a troubled economy many people are facing creditors who are sometimes extremely aggressive in obtaining repayment on loans and debts. Car finance companies are no exception, and are often heartless when their customers are faced with financial hardships due to job loss or salary reductions. If you are facing vehicle repossession you may have more rights than you think.

Financing New Car

When you decide to finance an automobile there are certain factors to keep in mind. Closely examine the contract to be certain that your rights are clear and you have no misunderstanding as to what you are signing. In some cases a contract may state that if you miss even one payment, or are even a few days late on a payment your car can be repossessed. What is most important to remember is that your financed car is not actually your car until the absolute last payment is made. So your inability to make timely payments as stated in your contract could result in serious consequences. The rights that you have may vary depending on the state in which you live, so be certain to investigate your specific rights when financing your automobile.

Contracts spell out repayments.
Contracts spell out repayments. (Image: signing a contract image by William Berry from Fotolia.com)

Repossession of Your Car

What you need to understand is the act of repossession is often a painful process. If you are late on a payment, or miss a payment, the finance company can take your car with absolutely no warning. They may do so while you are at work or at home sleeping. “Repo” men take pride in their ability to get in and out when it comes to taking back an automobile. You may not even know your car has been repossessed until you head to your car, keys in hand to take a ride and find it is gone.

Keep in mind that these finance companies have some limitations of which you should be aware. State law places limitations and regulations on how your vehicle may be repossessed, and what they might do with it once they have obtained it. If these rules are violated, your finance company may lose their rights to repossess your car and you may even be entitled to damages. For example, if a creditor agrees to take a late payment or to change the payment due date, when your contract states that late payments are not permitted, this may change your contract for the future.

It can be frustrating when you can't make the required payments.
It can be frustrating when you can't make the required payments. (Image: men crying image by Andrey Rakhmatullin from Fotolia.com)

Your Rights

In repossessing your car, the finance company is allowed to come onto your property to do so and they can take the vehicle regardless of the time of day or whether they provide notice that they will be doing so. However, when they take your car they cannot commit what is termed “breach of the peace.” What this means is that they are not permitted to use physical force or threats of physical force. In some states this would also mean that you simply can protest against them taking it, or refuse to allow them into your garage. If there is a “breach of peace” your creditor may be forced to pay a penalty or provide payment for damages if they cause some damage in the process of removing your automobile. If it is found that they are at fault they may also lose their right to collect a deficiency judgment ,which is the difference between what you owe on your loan and the amount for which the finance company is able to resell the vehicle.

The finance company is allowed to come onto your property.
The finance company is allowed to come onto your property. (Image: private driveway image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com)

Speak With Finance Company

Often if you call the loan company and explain your circumstances they may be able to find a way to lower your payments or increase the term of your loan, thus bringing down the payment amount. If the finance company is not open to this discussion with you than you may need to turn to an auto loan modification company.

The loan modification industry, which previously only helped homeowners with mortgage modifications, has branched out to help consumers obtain loan modifications on their car loans. A loan modification is a renegotiation of your loan terms to help make them more conducive to maintain. These firms can be found across the country and are there to help consumers find ways to keep their cars, even if they can no longer afford their monthly payments.

Contact your lender for loan help.
Contact your lender for loan help. (Image: customer service image by Kurhan from Fotolia.com)

Auto Loan Modification

This could be the solution to your problems. If you would like to keep your car and it is becoming obvious that due to a change in your financial situation, you can no longer make the required payments, seek the help of an auto loan modification company. They will serve as the middleman between you and the loan company. They will renegotiate your terms and try to find a compromise between you and the finance company.

A middleman may solve your loan woes.
A middleman may solve your loan woes. (Image: man in car image by kuhar from Fotolia.com)

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