Can a car be returned to the owner after it has been repossessed?

Yes. Provided that all stipulations given by lender have been met. In other words, the bank may allow the vehicle to be redeemed after account has been paid off or has been caught up. Banks are usually required to wait a certain amount of time before liquidating the collateral. In AZ, it is 10 days. If the lender has waited the required amount of time and then decides to sell the collateral, it wil be sold and the proceeds will go towards the owed amount. If there is a deficiency, the debtor will still be required to pay the deficiency. In other words, if the loan balance is $10,000.00 and the collateral nets $8,000.00 the debtor will still owe $2,000.00. That is called deficiency. In the case of surplus, if the balance on the loan is $5,000.00 and the collateral nets $6,000.00 the lender will owe the debtor $1,000.00 It is best to check with your state's government to see what rights and laws apply to you in your state.