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You may have a certain right, known as a right to cure, whereby you are given a grace period to resume the original contract (cure the default) with the finance company. In Pennsylvania, for example, your repossessed vehicle may go on auction after 15 days following notification that it will be sold at auction. To resume the original contract (curing the default), you bring all past due balances up to date including, at the finance companies discretion, any fees associated with repossessing the vehicle. Following that, they cannot sell your vehicle and must resume the terms of the contract.

However, states may have different applications of 'right to cure' so you need to do research for your home state. In Delaware, for example, the right to cure only applies when the payments are ballooned (adjustable rate). Google 'Right To Cure', 'Vehicle' and 'Repossession' and [your state] to further research. Another nice google term is [your state] AND 'consumer credit code'.

Aside from that, it's up to the institution that lent you the money. You could bring the account current and pay the repop charge and they could give you back the car, or they could tell you "we have tried working with you, sir, and you have done nothing but lie to us, so you must pay the BIF of your account, and then we will give you the car, but not 'til then!" It's all in how you handle the situation with them. If you rubbed them the wrong way, they may not be so willing to work anything out with you. You should always attempt to be honest and forthcoming with your creditors. It is the only way to work out something that will last and be in your best interest. Nobody likes the bill collectors calling them!

More Information:

  • If your friend BOUGHT the car from the financial instution, then s/he should have gotten a title to the car Free and Clear of all liens. There should be NO payoff except what your friend wants from you for the car.
  • My car was repossessed for default on a title loan. They only would accept the full amount, so, on the advice of this site, I contacted a bankruptcy lawyer. You have 10 days after repossession in Minnesota to file chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is what I did (on a Friday), and the car was released immediately (on Monday morning!). I was able to gather some of my other debts and roll that into it, and I will be paying a percentage of what I owe on all of the debt including the title loan. This was a great thing for me as I owe less than $5000 total debt ($1900 on car). CALL A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY if you know that you won't be able to work with the loan company and you need the car!
  • Yes, you can, but it really depends on the lender.
  • It depends on the lender. I had two payments past due on my car, and had just gotten enough $$$ to get current, but the car got repoed the day before the payment showed up. I called them up and the payment had cleared the bank, so it was good, but just a bit too late to stop the repo. I had to pay some towing and storage fees, but because I was now current, the lender released the car to me today. Yeah, it was a big hassle, but life goes on. Lesson learned. Pay on time, folks, and you'll never have to worry about the REPO MAN!
  • In regards to the comment: Pay on time, folks, and you'll never have to worry about the REPO MAN! I agree with that but, what if all payments were timely and consistant, never late? What if the insurance is on and paid? What if the "repo man" was actually a couple of mechanics from the dealers shop that drove out in a regular car? That's what happened to me. One mechanic got out, hopped in the car and drove off with the other mechanic following him. I was so confused because I didn't know why and what I had done. I have all receipts to show payments were always made on time, even early if paydate fell on the weekend. Called police, they say there wasn't any notice or anything regarding the car and it was between me and the dealer. Keep in mind, this was NOT bank financing. I followed the contract requirements for insurance, but I changed companies three months ago. I never thought it was a problem because the new company faxed the new policy to the dealer. In those three months, I have had the oil changed with them (it's required) and go in to make my payments. They always greeted me with a smile, with no mention of any problem. Is it because I am deaf and they think I am dumb as well? My daughter called to ask why they picked up the car and they said it was due to a check I cancelled for a headlight they fixed, even though the repair was covered in warranty (is why I cancelled it). I combed the contract back and forth and the only reasons for default of contract is non-payment or no insurance on car. I seldom get angry, but I was MADDD! And I did something I hope won't get me put in jail. But an hour or two after the mechanics drove off in car, I went to the dealer/lot because my ID, checkbook, etc. was in car. When I got there, the car was just sitting there with the cars waiting for repair. I felt wronged enough to walk up to the mechanics (different ones) and say "I'm here to pick up my car...is it ready?" They said if it's parked back on the lot, the repair was done (HOW ODD!). So I walked to the car, hopped in and drove off, with them waving at me as I left. I was thinking to myself "Is this how repossession goes with the car just sitting there for anyone to take?" A while later, my daughter called the dealer to ask about the car and he informs us that we cannot get the car back without paying 250.00 repossession fee, storage fees, etc. I was shocked that they had no idea what so ever that I got that car back. So I am now waiting to see if those two mechanics come back, they haven't. So now what?
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Q: Is there any way to get a repossessed car back without paying the loan in full?
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