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Repossession

Can they break into your locked garage to repossess your car?

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2016-04-18 01:32:36
2016-04-18 01:32:36

First, State Laws on this issue may widely differ. You would do well to check with an Attorney of Law or even the Attorney General's Office in your State.

Second, many state laws state you can be charged criminally for Hindering Secured Creditors. For instance Google TX Penal Code 32.33 or RCW 9A.56.096. This and below are examples of how many states have similar laws, but it is nearly impossible to get the charges filed against the debtor.

Third, NO, a repossesser cannot LEGALLY break into your locked property. Check the Fair Debt Act and you will find out that you cannot threaten anyone with arrest! Unless there is a court order that only a law enforcement officer can serve, the tow driver can't do a darn thing. You can call the police and have the tow guy removed from your property. Without a court order, the police cannot force you to turn the vehicle over because it is a civil matter. The police can only keep the peace. This is only when there is NO court order. You can keep the car locked up all you want if you want to catch up the payments. Until the lender gets that court order, no one can remove a vehicle from a secured/locked building, or tell you that you can be arrested if you don't turn the car over.

Fourth, HOWEVER, owing a lender money is a civil matter. But a repossesser is enforcing a security interest and when a debtor refuses to surrender collateral (at least in Va) the debtor has crossed the line, changing a civil matter into a criminal matter, and the debtor can be arrested if the lien holder pursues it (that's a big IF in most cases). So telling a debtor they COULD be charged with a felony is true ref: vacode 18.2-115.

If the repo man can prove that you are keeping the unit locked in the garage to keep him from getting it, that can be the as the same if you were hiding it at your friend's house. In Colorado, it is a class five felony for concealment of mortgaged property. I have told debtors that sometimes and it works, but I only say that they CAN be charged if the repossessing client wants to do it that way. We actually had one case that was pending against a debtor for concealment, but the client dropped the case because the debtor made her payments up the next time the repossession came up. We refused to waste our time with it until there was a court order.

Fifth, what are you going to do when the sheriff comes to get the car? In the meantime, are you going to let the car stay in the garage because you are sure the repoman will nab it if you take it to the store, etc? Seems silly to keep a car you can't drive and you haven't paid the payments. Anyway, the longer you assert your "rights" the MORE the fees add up and the more you will pay in the long run. you can rent a car cheaper than you can hide it in your garage.

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In most states no, they cannot break into a locked garage to get the car.

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Yes! a repo agent can legally repossess collateral anywhere, as long as he doesn't breach the peace or break and enter into a locked garage or gate

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The car can only be repossessed from a locked garage if the car is spotted in the garage from a window or a crack, but the repo company cannot enter the garage if the car was not visibly spotted.


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