Breach of the peace:
That means that the repossession agent in repossessing the
vehicle cannot: forcibly remove you from the vehicle; stop you on
the street or highway like a law enforcement arrest; enter a closed
garage or your home; break into your house; create a disturbance
such as a fight or other altercation; threaten any of the above
actions; or pretend to be a law enforcement officer while
conducting the repossession. If any of these actions occurred you
should immediately report the incident to law enforcement
authorities and contact an attorney.
My loan was with Ford Motor Credit Company and had a Repo man, out
of Oklahoma City dressed in an Oklahoma City Sheriff Cap with their
logo, navy blue T-shirt with a yellow badge on his chest drive into
a my employers MARKED "Private Parking" lot and repo my car after
being asked to leave by company employees. He bullied his way in by
driving his truck in, allowed me to call Ford Credit with no luck
and seized my vehicle. I told my Dad who is a Reserve Officer for
another County Sheriff's department what happened and he called
this guy and told him that what he had done, by wearing his Sheriff
Issued T-shirt & Cap was a felony. The guy got really upset and
begged my Dad not to tell anyone because he would lose his job at
the Sheriff's office. He even told my employer who asked about his
logo on his cap that he worked for the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Sheriff's department! If I knew what my rights were, a call would
of been placed to our local police department and told them my car
was being stolen by someone who was posing as a law enforcement
official. I did call my attorney, we were able to get another loan
from a local bank and obtain the car within two days after paying
the repo & lot fees they charged. Also, I e-mailed the
president of Ford Motor Credit about the incident and was sent a
reply that the gentleman was within his rights and could wear
whatever he wanted. As far as my attorney went, I called a couple
of times after to pursue this issue, but was never contacted back.
Please, know this is NOT LEGAL during a repossession and you can
call your local law enforcement agency. I someone who was blind,
like me in what a Repo Man's Breach of the Peace can include.
Thanks for reading. L
"Anonymous" Ok Citizen,
Your whole statement there is inconsistent. Either the guy did
work for the sheriffs office (Why would he be begging to keep his
job at the sheriffs department if he didn't work there?) or he
didn't and was imposing as one. Either way, he shouldn't have done
it, but he is not imposing as an officer if he works for the
"I certainly hope you meant 'impersonating'; not 'imposing' --
if you do not know the difference it somewhat defeats the sarcastic
undercurrent of your answer..."
The Rules of Repossession - Breaching the Peace Taking the vehicle
from unsecured driveways, open carports, parking lots at work and
city streets is generally allowed. But the repossession company may
• Enter a closed or locked garage, or otherwise break and enter
onto property. • Enter into your home, unless invited by you. •
Damage the vehicle during the repossession or attempts at
repossession. • Threaten you or commit violence. • Touch anyone,
force you out of the automobile, etc. • Threaten you will be
arrested. • Claim the repossession agent is a police officer or has
"special government authority." • Force you to pull over to the
side of the road. • Have law enforcement personnel present unless
the creditor has already sued you.
Impersonatinga law enforcement officer? Certainly a crime. The
penalty is a huge fine and jail time. You should have called the
police and signed complaints and called the Sheriff's Office and
reported him. Ford Credit is WRONG. Remember, your speaking to
someone in customer service that is ignorant of the law. If he's
working as a repo man as a second job,( which may be a conflict of
interest) he CANNOT wear any logo's, badges, etc., pertaining to a
law enforcement officer. Don't listen to the banks. They will tell
you anything because for 1) they don't know the law and 2) to avoid
a lawsuit. They wish for you to take their word and not to pursue
...Additionally, an off-duty Sheriff may not use the imposition of
his/her office outside the witness of (or) in order to foil a
commission of a crime [Read: It is currently not a crime to be
behind on credit payments.] More conditionally, if, an off-duty
Sheriff working a second job as recovery agent witnesses you remove
your automobile (scheduled for repossession by him/her) from your
closed garage and (you) drive off -- he/she could not follow you,
pursue you, or detain you under his/her power as a Sheriff in order
to remove you from that vehicle AND reclaim it for a creditor. This
is true in or out of uniform. Without an injunction, accompanied by
a court order a Sheriff has no right to remove your vehicle from
your property. An off-duty Sheriff may not present him/herself as
law-enforcement to gain access to your home or property with the
intention of repossessing your vehicle. If he/he does misrepresent
him or herself in order to enforce a private agenda, that Sheriff
is impersonating an officer (at that time.)
Public law #106-547, the Enhanced Federal Security Act of 2000
amends title 18 of the United States Code and became effective
12/19/2000. In short, it restricts badges (and their public uses)
more and creates Federal penalties for impersonating an officer.
The amendment can be read at the Library of Congress' Law Library's
Global Legal Information Network database at www.loc.gov/law/glin
by searching on U.S. laws enacted 12/19/2000 and looking for the
Enhanced Federal Security Act of 2000.
Sometimes an offense is committed just by taking on the
appearance of a local officer.
There are additional penalties if an officer-looking person
performs what appears to be an official duty.
(a) A person commits an offense if: (1) the person makes,
provides to another person, or possesses a card, document, badge,
insignia, shoulder emblem, or other item bearing an insignia of a
law enforcement agency that identifies a person as a peace officer
or a reserve law enforcement officer; and
(2) the person who makes, provides, or possesses the item
bearing the insignia knows that the person so identified by the
item is not commissioned as a peace officer or reserve law
enforcement officer as indicated on the item.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:
(3) the item was used or intended for use exclusively for
decorative purposes or in an dramatic presentation to gain false
Depending on state law, impersonating a police officer may be
considered either a felony or a misdemeanour. Punishments for
impersonating a police officer include:
Imprisonment up to five years (sometimes more) Fines (usually
$1000 or more) Probation Permanent criminal record
Was this story made up? You really think that because you are
wearing a shirt and hat with any law enforcement agency's insignia
or letters is justifiably the same as impersonating an officer?? A
repo agent can wear whatever he or she wants be it a police shirt,
coat, hat, etc. one could even walk around in a dinosaur suit
resembling t-rex. The fact remains that unless he a) stated that he
was an officer of the law when he wasn't and b) you have sufficient
proof of this (he said/she said is NOT sufficient) you have NO
CORRECTION: While you may not be "technically" impersonating an
Officer, State Case Law is very clear on this subject. If the "repo
man" wears any resemblance of a badge or presents himself as an
"agent", even if generic. The repossession can and has been held as
wrongful in a civil case.
In a case such as this, the Debtor need not prove anything.
Merely a statement they were under the impression the person that
took their car was with the government (because of a badge, swat
pants, or police hat) and a sympathetic jury will do the trick.
Let me tell you something, a repoman CANNOT wear a badge or uniform
that portrays law enforcement. It adds what they refer to as "color
of law". What is "Color of Law"? It is anything that would lead a
member of the general public to believe that they were dealing with
a member of law enforcement. A repoman CANNOT wear: a badge,
t-shirt with a badge emblem, hat listing any law enforcement
agency, ID card with any type badge. All a debtor has to do is
think they are speaking to a cop and it adds color of law. The 4th
Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the government from taking
a citizens life, liberty or property without due process. If you
add color of law then you essentially are making the debtor feel
like the government is taking their property. I am sorry if you
don't believe me but I can provide a list about 5 feet thick of
attorneys and professional recovery agents that will back what I
said up. Any decent, bonafide recovery agent will not need to use
anything that would add color of law. In AZ, there is a law that
makes it a class 6 Felony to hide a car from the repoman. In case
you are wondering what that law is, it is ARS 13-2204. Problem with
that is, the local PD will not arrest anyone on it because they
will not get involved with a repo. Period. No wiggle room. No grey
area. Back to the main point of the question, breach of peace in
laymen's terms is basically anything that happens that involves the
police/sheriff being called. Ie: debtor calls police, you call the
police before leaving debtors property, neighbor calls police,
passer by calls police, lock on gate gets cut, fence gets damaged,
an assault occurs (either you Vs. debtor or Debtor Vs. you, it
Hey swrepo guy I'm glad to see there's at least one repo guy who
doesn't think every repo guy can do no wrong.
Well, I will be honest with you. I wish we could cuff some of these
deadbeats and haul them off along with the car. However, we can't.
I cannot afford the legal bills or loss of clients if I were to
break the law doing a repo. It gets frustrating to us as recovery
agents and to the lenders when we finally track someone down and
find them only to find the vehicle behind a locked gate or in a
garage that never opens. But no matter how frustrated I get or how
many times I run an address, I never even get close to the thin
line between legal and illegal. Too much risk.
There should be more repo guys like you.You posted the Arizona code
on another thread about hiding a secured asset(i.e. a vehicle in
this case).I was wondering have you ever tried to sue someone for
hiding a vehicle and asked for money as damages for each day they
hide the car?That way you not the bank will get the money.Just a
No, that code I listed is actually a criminal code and not a civil
code. Unfortunately, the local law enforcement where I reside will
not arrest on it, even though it is a felony charge. It would be
nice if I could though. I could just count the vehicle stored at
their residence and not my lot.
No i understand they won't arrest on it what I am saying is you sue
him in civil court for hiding the collateral from you as agent for
the bank i.e. a secured creditor.Do this while he is still hiding
the vehicle.There should be a parallel code in the civil code equal
to the to the criminal code.You can ask for monetary damages
because he is hiding the collateral from you which is costing you
money.Because lets say the guy catches up on his payments or pays
the entire loan off while you've been trying to repo it then the
bank calls off the repo you don't get paid and lets say you have
been at this guy for 6-7 weeks that's a lot of time/money.
I understand what you are saying but there just isn't a court
around that is going to allow a repoman to prevail on a case like
that. Let's say that I do decide to file a civil case against the
debtor. I will have to show that I was assigned the repo by the
lender, therefore the lender will have to become involved and when
you start mentioning involving courts and attorneys, lenders tend
to say "Well, let's just close the account with you and have our
legal department handle it." A lot of courts will only allow the
lender to file the case as the repo man has no contract or lien
with the debtor. It is the same scenario that prevents the repoman
from reporting the car stolen, he is not on the title or listed as
an owner. I feel you on this one, I mean I can see where you're
really trying to provide some helpful insight but you gotta trust a
guy who has tried the court system as an avenue before numerous
times. The laws are set up to protect the debtors, not the
Just to retouch on the subject of the deputy sheriff wearing his
badge, here is a direct quote from the FDCPA,15 USC 1692e � 807.
False or misleading representations
A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading
representation or means in connection with the collection of any
debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing,
the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The false representation or implication that the debt
collector is vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated with the United
States or any State, including the use of any badge, uniform, or
(2) The false representation of --
(A) the character, amount, or legal status of any debt; or
(B) any services rendered or compensation which may be lawfully
received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt.
(3) The false representation or implication that any individual
is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney.
(4) The representation or implication that non-payment of any
debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the
seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages
of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector
or creditor intends to take such action.
(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken
or that is not intended to be taken.
(6) The false representation or implication that a sale,
referral, or other transfer of any interest in a debt shall cause
the consumer to --
(A) lose any claim or defense to payment of the debt; or
(B) become subject to any practice prohibited by this title.
(7) The false representation or implication that the consumer
committed any crime or other conduct in order to disgrace the
(8) Communicating or threatening to communicate to any person
credit information which is known or which should be known to be
false, including the failure to communicate that a disputed debt is
(9) The use or distribution of any written communication which
simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized,
issued, or approved by any court, official, or agency of the United
States or any State, or which creates a false impression as to its
source, authorization, or approval.
(10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to
collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information
concerning a consumer.
(11) The failure to disclose in the initial written
communication with the consumer and, in addition, if the initial
communication with the consumer is oral, in that initial oral
communication, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a
debt and that any information obtained will be used for that
purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications
that the communication is from a debt collector, except that this
paragraph shall not apply to a formal pleading made in connection
with a legal action.
(12) The false representation or implication that accounts have
been turned over to innocent purchasers for value.
(13) The false representation or implication that documents are
(14) The use of any business, company, or organization name
other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company,
(15) The false representation or implication that documents are
not legal process forms or do not require action by the
(16) The false representation or implication that a debt
collector operates or is employed by a consumer reporting agency as
defined by section 603(f) of this Act.
So, if you want to wear your little Jr. Sheriff badge and go
repoing, go right ahead but I hope you have a good lawyer.
All though The laws are different From State to State I'm An
recovery agent A "repo man" can were a badge if it has the name of
the company he is working for or AUTO Repossessor or some thing to
that. I where a badge when i am recovering an automobile there is
nothing law enforcement can do unless you breach peace in some
state and city they can use a right of way law. Which state that
you have a right to access your property and a automobile is the
property of the lien holder until you have pay it off. Most city's
have laws that restrict police, dot, fire-fighter, and Political
Fighters using their badges to Gain.
Breach of Peace is an inclusive term that covers any violation of
the 'public tranquillity'.
Examples: resisting lawful arrest, discharging a firearm in
violation of an existing law, intentionally disturbing the peace of
a neighborhood, family or person (loud party, loud abusive and/or
indecent behavior and so forth.
The usual criminal charge when a person is arrested under breach
of peace laws is disorderly conduct.