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Okay folks, I am a driver of a repo truck in South Florida. I do not own the company, I just drive for them and yes, I very much enjoy what I do. I do not consider myself a scumbag, nor am I rude, demeaning or disrespectful to debtors, I go out of my way to be polite and courteous to them as possible.

It's true that a debtor that has had their vehicle repossessed can be charged for the inventory, storage and return of their personal property that was in the vehicle at the time of repossession. They can be legally charged up to $200.00 for this in Florida. However, If I have contact with the debtor during the repossession I will offer to them a trade. The keys to the vehicle for the possessions in it. Much to the chagrin of my employer, I strongly stress to the debtor that it is in their best interest to remove all of their personal belongings from the vehicle that they do not wish to buy back. Most of these folks appreciate my candidness with them and one even left a $20.00 tip at the office for me when they redeemed their vehicle.

I understand that not all who have fallen behind with their vehicle note are deadbeats, (some are, but not all) and I try to interact with them accordingly.

As far as I can tell, only 2 states allow for and require charging for PP. California and Florida. Otherwise, its ILLEGAL..!! FordMotorCredit does NOT allow its repo contractors to charge for PP by its contract with them. To do so is called "CONVERSION".

This is correct as far as the legality of charging for the retrieval of personal property in the state of Florida. According to Florida Statute 493.6404:

"Should the debtor, or her or his lawful designee, appear to retrieve the personal property, prior to the date on which the Class "E" or Class "EE" licensee is allowed to dispose of the property, the licensee shall surrender the personal property to that individual upon payment of any reasonably incurred expenses for inventory and storage."

:Check with your Attorney General's Office on the law regarding being charged a storage fee for your personal items in your repossessed car. In Maryland the law is the towing company can charge only for the storage of the vehicle. A repo company cannot charge a fee for storing personal items, only the storage of the vehicle. It didn't matter that the repo company had something worked out with the finance company. You can probably find most state laws online. If that confuses you, call your local Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection section. It may not be that all states have the same law that Maryland does, but you'll never know unless you ask.

I also found the following online regarding Florida law regarding personal property:

493.6404_Property_inventory;_vehicle_license_identification_numbers.--">493.6404 Property inventory; vehicle license identification numbers.--(1) If personal effects or other property not covered by a security agreement are contained in or on a recovered vehicle, mobile home, motorboat, aircraft, personal watercraft, all-terrain vehicle, farm equipment, or industrial equipment at the time it is recovered, a complete and accurate inventory shall be made of such personal effects or property. The date and time the inventory is made shall be indicated, and it shall be signed by the Class "E" or Class "EE" licensee who obtained the personal property. The inventory of the personal property and the records regarding any disposal of personal property shall be maintained for a period of 2 years in the permanent records of the licensed agency and shall be made available, upon demand, to an authorized representative of the department engaged in an official investigation.

(2) Within 5 working days after the date of a repossession, the Class "E" or Class "EE" licensee shall give written notification to the debtor of the whereabouts of personal effects or other property inventoried pursuant to this section. At least 45 days prior to disposing of such personal effects or other property, the Class "E" or Class "EE" licensee shall, by United States Postal Service proof of mailing or certified mail, notify the debtor of the intent to dispose of said property. Should the debtor, or her or his lawful designee, appear to retrieve the personal property, prior to the date on which the Class "E" or Class "EE" licensee is allowed to dispose of the property, the licensee shall surrender the personal property to that individual upon payment of any reasonably incurred expenses for inventory and storage. If personal property is not claimed within 45 days of the notice of intent to dispose, the licensee may dispose of the personal property at her or his discretion, except that illegal items or contraband shall be surrendered to a law enforcement agency, and the licensee shall retain a receipt or other proof of surrender as part of the inventory and disposal records she or he maintains.

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Q: Can you be charged for retrieving personal items from a repossessed car?
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