Seizure of property bought on credit for which loan payments are not being received. Please note that when asking a car repossession question, it is often useful to include the state that you live in. This will enable people to give you better answers.

19,562 Questions
Cars & Vehicles
Job Training and Career Qualifications

What qualifications and licensing are required to become a vehicle repossession agent?

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Ford F-250

How do you have your car voluntarily repossessed?

The Correct :

Most Finance Companies make this very difficult.

1)Take the vehicle to the manufacturers nearest dealer for a service appointment. Leave the car there. Remember the Service Reps First and last name.

2)Contact the finance company and let them know what dealership the vehicle is at.

3)Notify the finance company that you would like to have your vehicle voluntarily repossessed and to pick it up directly from the dealer. Reference the Service Reps Name and write down the the customer service reps full name.

4)You can ignore any further attempts to contact you by the finance company or dealership.

5)Most finance companies(in California) will not seek deficiency judgement your credit however will be ruined for 3 years.

The finance company has no reason to work with you if you can no longer afford to pay.

You simply call the finance company and tell them that you are unable to pay for the car due to unforeseen circumstances and make arrangement for them to either pick the car up or ask where you should take the vehicle. I had voluntarily surrendered a car years ago and the Manufacturer made arrangements to pick up the car at my home.

There were fees involved and they actually prorate your loan and you will be charged for a certain amount of the cars value. Even if the car is only 3 months old, it is now considered a used car and the finance company cannot sell it as if it were will have depreciated in value as much as 30%

Car Buying
Used Car Buying

Is there a time period within which you can return a car if you decide you really didn't want it?

The majority of car dealerships across the United States do not have a three day return policy or cooling off period on new or used car purchases. "Buyer's Remorse" will not be enough to get you out of a vehicle purchase or return a car to the dealer.

Is an emotional response from a car buyer during or after buying a new or used car. Buyer's remorse can be feelings of depression, anxiety, fear or regret.

Car buying tip: Car salesman are very aware of buyer's remorse and know that it can be a deal killer. Do not let a car salesman or dealer manipulate or persuade you into signing a binding contract or any other paperwork until you're ready to buy the car.

Some car dealerships do have "3 day return policies." however these car dealerships will only honor their return policy if you have something clearly stated in writing.

Cars & Vehicles
Vehicle Titles

How can you find a car by the VIN if you do not know what state it is titled in?

bruh this wiki is horrible. you have vin on the door panel of the car. when you open the door on the side of the door there is a sticker on which you can find a vin, you have one as well on the windshield of the car on the drivers side in the bottom corner. if i am not mistaken one is under the hood and one under the body of the car as well. but you can never be sure if the car is stolen or salvage because there are professionals that can easily replace the vin


What is legal during a car repossession?

Any activity that results in the recovery of the wanted vehicle is legal, provided the peace is maintained and there is a perfected lien-holder, and that lien-holder has issued a legal order for repossession.

There are minor specifics for each state, and some for specific metropolitan areas. These make it difficult to give a succinct answer for such a broad question.

The above is correct, but it doesn't solve your problem.

If you bought it at a "buy here, pay here" lot, TALK TO the people - YOU owe the money and you owe them because they handed over THEIR PROPERTY to you BECAUSE you agreed to pay x amount of dollars on some set schedule. What they DON'T want is to be cold-shouldered by YOU, the person who has THEIR property and who is USING their

property without upholding your portion of the agreement.


Credit Reports

How long does a repossession stay on your credit report?

Repo on Your CreditIt stays on your credit report for 7 years to the day the loan became delinquent. Say you made your last complete up to date car payment August 15, 2001 and you fell behind about a month after that staying one month behind until December when you missed another payment becoming 2 months behind. The repossession then occurred in January 2003.

This will stay on the credit report until September of 2008 for that 7 year period, regardless of when the loan winds up getting paid off.

It can stay on the report a bit longer if it goes to court and the bank gets a judgment against the borrower. Say this happens in 2004, then that stays on the credit report another 7 years until 2011.

Bankruptcies stay on 10 years while delinquencies and defaults stay on for 7 years.

More Information:

  • Seven years, unless you're applying for a high-paying job or a very large loan or life insurance policy, in which case the repossession will always be reported.
  • Repossessions and all other notations remain on credit reports for seven years from the date of last payment IF there is no judgment on the account. In the event of judgment it remains for ten years after the date of last payment or the date of judgment (whichever is later), and can be extended for ten additional years in some circumstances.
  • Occasionally, errors are made by the credit reporting agencies, and notations on reports may remain longer than they should. In the event of an unfair or erroneous reporting, contact the credit reporting agencies involved by registered letter. Corrections must be made within thirty days of contact. Be prepared to provide support for your request to make corrections to your credit reports. Generally though, no information older than seven to ten years should ever appear on a credit report unless ordered there by the courts.
  • For reference, please consult the Federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
  • For debts that have gone to a collection agency, be aware that any contact, letters, phone calls etc to that agency, can set a new date on your credit file.
Car Batteries
Criminal Law

Can criminal charges be filed when a repo man attempts to take your car and hooks the car to the wrecker and moves the car while your kids are still in it?

Of course. It is called kidnapping. He should go to jail for that and the company needs to give you lots of money for your emotional distress and your kids of course. You probably won't work for a long long time and same for your kids. So yes you can.

Paint Jobs

What do you need to repair a scratch or nick in a cars paint job?

There are two possible things you can do:

1. Sand the area, then lightly spray your color over it. With newer cars with clear coat, you'd have to also spray a layer of clear coat over the touch up job to make it match.

2. If the nick is small enough, you can take a fine tip brush and brush your touch up paint over the nick.

  • If the paint job has aged, due to oxidation, touch up paint may not match your paint job.

you won't believe this.......but my wife bought a scratch & sm dent cover up kit "As seen on TV" LOL It comes with primary colors and you mix accordingly. just use a plastic putty knife & spread the cream into sm dents (quater size or smaller) or scratches and allow it to dry. dont worry about excess, the "Magic" solution afterwards buffs it up nicely & some how blends your color matching in with the existing color. UNBELIEVABLE!!! BUT can find it on you'll love it, no skills required.

To repair a scratch in the paint of a car is not a easily answered question. It depends on the severity of the scratch. If the scratch is small you can use some of the commerical scratch repair kits or the temp fill in wax. For more severe scratches try sanding the area with 400 grit sand paper and the area around it (about 1-2 inches). Finally @ any Wal-Mart they should have color paint repair kits that will match your paint as long as it's a common color. They have detailed directions on their product. It is best to consult them first. If you dont feel secure sanding your car, I would consult your local auto body repair person and get estimates!!!!!!! Automotive repair ppl are shady so watch yourself!!!

a scratch can easily be sanded out lightly with water using 400 sand paper.then you can buff it out and it will not be noticable

A scratch that's not too deep can be removed with automotive paint thinner and a cloth and some gentle rubbing. NOTE: the area you rub will become much shinier than the rest of the paint. WARNING: automotive paint thinner is toluol, highly toxic to breathe. Use good ventilation.

A slight scratch can be repaired by hand rubbing with a soft cloth and rubbing compound, followed by a fine scratch remover used to take out the rubbing compound abrasions. Rubbing compound is very gritty, and will actually dull the surface when rubbed by hand, but these fine abrasions can easily be removed with a finishing polish.

More severe scratches may need some wet sanding. DO NOT USE 400 grit sand paper!!!! No amatuer at this should sand on their car with anything more coarse than 1200 grit (preferably 2000 grit ultra fine). If you use 2000 grit, you may be able to skip the rubbing compound, and go straight to the finishing polish.

400 grit sandpaper is only for use prior to painting. I have many years of experience in this area, and I stand by what I say.

Be careful using any thinner or solvent on your car's finish. If it is original, it may be ok, provided it isn't lacquer. Lacquer readily reverses to liquid when it comes in contact with solvent. If you have a late model basecoat/clearcoat car, thinner probably won't help repair a scratch, because the finish will not reflow (like lacquer), and therefore it won't have any effect.

Auto Parts and Repairs
Ford Expedition XLT
Auto Insurance Claims

What car maintenance should an owner do?

IntervalsHere is what I recommend for maintenance intervals. There are exceptions to all of these including severe duty, which most northern cars fall into.

  • Change Transmission filter-30,000 miles, 90,000 and 150,000 miles and fluid at 60,000, 120,000 and 180,000 miles.
  • Change oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, unless you use Mobil One, in which case 6 months/6,000 miles.
  • Chassis lube every 3,000 miles, assuming there are fittings.
  • Spark plugs: Conventional plugs: 30,000 miles, Double platinum: every 50,000 miles (100,000 mile plugs are best to be changed well before that, although some can reach it).
  • Fuel filter: 35,000-40,000 miles. Unless it is in the tank. But if the tank is ever dropped, do it then
  • Ignition cap, rotor, wires: 60,000-80,000 miles. (if it has them).
  • Timing Belt, if applicible: 60,000 miles on many but check with gates or dayco or the manual or dealer, as many different intervals are now present.
  • Coolant flush -- green: 2 years/24,000 miles.
  • Coolant flush -- dex-cool or long life: 5 years/50,000 miles.
  • Tire rotation: 5,000-8,000 miles.
  • Alignment: 15,000-20,000 miles., unless tire wear is not a problem and car goes straight.
  • Brake fluid flush and power steering fluid flush: 2 years or when dirty or discolored.
  • Air filter, pcv valve and cabin air filter: as needed.
  • Professional fuel injection service: 40,000 miles.
  • Throttle bore plate cleaning: 20,000 miles.
  • Air induction service: 20,000 miles.
MaintenanceEvery auto manufacturer lists their required maintenance on their web sites and in the owners manual the maintenance service intervals vary between manufacturers.

Your car is a moving piece of machinery, it needs maintenance, if you want this car to last you need to service it. Do not just do the minimum recommended services that are listed in you service manual. Make sure you service your cooling system which prolongs the life of the radiator and water pump, and the power steering system, which will extend the life of your cars power-seeking pump and gear box or rack. It will cost you much more than you want to spend when you fail to maintain your car and larger problems surface. I recommend that you review your owners manual and get acquainted with a reputable auto repair facility. A good relationship with you car and your car's mechanic will benefit you in the long run, providing you with a long lasting and safe car.

At 30,000 miles you should also service your cooling system, transmission, fuel system and power steering; this should be repeated every 30k miles. I recommend flushes of the later mentioned items to prolong these systems' life span.
Car careBasic car care can be simple and take only a short time to complete if you know what to do and look for.

Check your oil every week by first starting the vehicle and letting it run for at least 30 seconds. This allows the oil to fill the oil filter and will give you a proper reading on your dipstick. Shut the engine off wait 2-5 min to allow the oil to settle, and pull the oil dipstick, wipe it clean and replace it in the dip stick tube. Pull it out a second time and check the level. Fill if needed, but do not over fill, and it's best to use the same weight of oil last used.

Check your transmission every month by first pulling the transmission dipstick and checking if it requires the transmission to be in neutral or park. You can do this by reading the dip stick usually near the fill line. Start your vehicle and run it through the gears ending in the recommended gear, set the parking brake and pull the dipstick, clean it off and recheck it for a proper reading (remember that transmission fluid expands when hot). If the fluid is in the checked area do not add. If you do need to add fluid be sure to use the correct type recommended for your vehicle and again do not overfill.

I recommend never pulling the cap off your brake fluid. Brake fluid draws moisture from the air and can contaminate the system. If you think there is a problem with your brakes, have them checked by a certified brake specialist. You should not need any fluid added to your brakes unless you have a problem such as a leak or the brakes need to be replaced. Most new vehicles have a sensor built into the brake system that lets you know if you need brake work, and this is activated by the amount of fluid in the reservoir. By adding fluid you can do more damage than good. (Make sure you know what fluid it takes dot 4 and dot 5 are not compatible. Cars with Anti-lock brakes should get there fluid flushed every couple years or every 30,000 miles. A $1500.00 ABS module that went bad from dirty fluid can be avoided)
Debt Collection

How do you put a lien on someone's house when they owe you money?

A creditor must sue in civil court, obtain a judgment and then request a judgment lien that can be recorded in the land records. A judgment can be rendered for different types of debts such as default on a promissory note, credit card debt, personal injury award, wrongful death, etc. Once a judgment lien is recorded in the land records the property cannot be sold or mortgaged until the lien is paid off. Interest begins to accrue as soon as the favorable judgment is issued.

Mechanic's liens are in a different category than other types of liens. They are intended to protect contractors. A mechanic's lien can be recorded by anyone who supplied labor or materials to make improvements to a property, including plans and designs. These are exclusively a product of state legislation and vary from state to state. Most require that the lien be the result of work performed by a licensed contractor or a licensed business which normally supplies building materials to construction sites and that the amount of the lien not exceed the normal and routine value of the work performed or materials provided.

However, to have an enforceable lien, it usually must be "perfected" in compliance with with the statutory requirements for maintaining and enforcing the lien. These requirements, which contain time limits, can include the following:

  • Providing the required preliminary notice to the property owner disclosing the entitlement to the lien (some states).
  • Filing notices of commencement of work (some states).
  • Filing notices in the required public records offices of the intention to file a lien if unpaid (some states).
  • Filing the notice or claim of lien in the required public records offices within a specified period of time after the materials have been supplied or the work completed (all states). The law varies from state-to-state on both the triggering event and the timing of this. Some states require the filing within a period measured from the time when the claimant completes its work, while others specify the event as being after all work on the project has been completed. The filing time periods after the triggering event vary, with 4-6 months being common.
  • Filing a lawsuit to foreclose the lien within a specified time period.
  • Those states that do not require a civil court judgment generally include significant penalties for falsely attaching mechanics liens to property.

For any substantial amount owed you should contact an attorney who can review your situation and explain your options in your state.

You should not file a lien or begin any legal action against a person without first contacting an attorney. If you make an error in preparing and/or filing the lien documents, the lien may be voided and you may be held liable for the other party's attorney fees. Incorrectly prepared lawsuits can have the same result. If you do not have a lot of money for an attorney, look in your phone book for the attorneys (usually "sole practitioners" who do not have an ad) who offer free consultations. You cannot afford not to talk to an attorney.

Cars & Vehicles
Statutes of Limitations

What is the length of time creditors have to file for a claim against you after repossession in Pennsylvania?

It varies from state to state, but in your case about 10 to 14 days. Its time of process is counted on importance.

State Laws

What are the repossession laws in Georgia?

Georgia's Repossession Laws
  • SECURITY INTERESTS: Shown on title held by lien holder.
  • LICENSE REGISTRATION: Georgia Motor Vehicle Division, 270 Washington Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. Tel: (404)362-6500.
  • RECOVERY REQUIREMENT: As per UCC, repossession allowed without committing a breach of the peace.
  • Plates no longer remain with the vehicle in Georgia, they are issued to the person now and are transferrable.

Repossession Actions

Your car can be seized by the repo company as soon as you are notified that you are in default of your loan.

If your car is worth say $5,000 - and you OWE $10,000 on it - after they repossess it - they will sell it (usually at auction) and if they get $3,000 - they will sue you for the balance of $7,000 - and they WILL garnish wages (50% of your paycheck after taxes) until the car is paid for! If the car is not running - again they can have it repaired and sue you for the repair bill! And DO NOT THINK that the repo guys and auction houses do not work together - of course they do! If you have a $35,000 car and the repo guy wants your car - (after they repo it) - they CAN auction it for $1500 to the repo guy - and YOU pay the $33,500 balance - and Mr. Repo is driving a $35,000 car for $1500!

By law, the company that finances the loancannot be the company that handles the repossession. But they are often companies that work together.

Also ANY improvements ALWAYS stay with the car. If you have a $2,000 stereo system - it stays with the car. Any personal belongings of yours inside the car must be returned to you by the repo company within 3 days. But without proff this is hard to enforce.

The repo company will usually take your car at night - and most are very good - they can hook it to a tow truck and be gone - usually in under 30 seconds!! They will go around the corner - then secure the car to the tow truck!! And if the car falls off the tow truck - YOU pay the damages!

A repo is on your credit history for 7 years - although it is common for them to disappear after 5 years!

Most states are 90 days late before repo-ing a car - but under the Bailout, GM's federal agreement overruled your state laws.

Cars & Vehicles

In California how can you find out what happened to an impounded car?

Call DCA's Consumer Information Center toll-free at 1-800-952-5210. In the Sacramento area call (916) 445-1254. they can tell you what the requirements are for towing impounds. If you want to know what happened to the car, just call the police department that had it picked up and I'm pretty sure they'll let you know, but only if you're the legal owner.


When can your car get repossessed and what are your rights?

Any time you borrow money to buy a car, you should know that:

  • The lender can repossess if you miss a payment or for any default (a violation of the contract).
  • The lender can repossess without advance notice.
  • After car repossession, the lender might be able to accelerate, meaning the lender can require the borrower to pay off the entire balance of the loan in order for the borrower to get the vehicle back.
  • The lender can sell the repossessed vehicle at auction.
  • The lender might be able to sue the borrower for the deficiency if it sells the car for less than the borrower owes. This is true even in voluntary car repossessions.
  • The lender cannot commit a "breach of the peace," for example, breaking into a home or physically threatening someone, in the course of a car repossession.

The bottom line is if you want to know your rights, they are listed on your security agreement. This document you had to sign when you got a car loan. This is the document that the lien holder gives to the DMV to place a lien on your car. It will go over what the lien holders rights are in the event of default, and what your rights are. So find the documents you signed when you got the loan, or ask the lien holder for a copy and read it, it is the most important document you sign when you get a car loan.

If you know you're going to be late with a payment, talk to the lender to try to work things out. If the lender agrees to a delay or to modify the contract, be sure you get the agreement in writing.

Some states have laws that give consumers additional rights. Contact your state or local consumer protection office for more information.

Points made by other contributors

  • READ THE CONTRACT. Lenders go to a lot of trouble to make sure their contracts and other paperwork are LEGAL so you can't get out of a loan because the paperwork wasn't right. They may not tell you all your rights, but they will tell you ALL of theirs.
  • Decide what you can afford to pay and have a bit of room to live. Then make them the offer. Think about it BEFORE you talk to them and make up your mind that you are willing to pay that much each (week, month, year). When you talk to the creditor don't cave in to the pressure they put on you to pay up. They can ultimately garnish your wages but why should they if you will pay them the money without it. By the way, they can't put you in jail.
  • Call the lender and make them an offer to settle now. They would rather have money now than have to go through the collections, judgment, garnishment etc. routine. All you can waste is time and a phone call. They probably have an 888# so you won't even be out a phone call.
  • The worst part I see is the ability to give you and the IRS a form 1099 for whatever they DONT collect from you. It basically says the lender forgave you X number of dollars, so that forgiven money is treated as INCOME to YOU. Example; you owe $10K on a car, it disappears, lender can't collect. Two years (or whenever) the lender sends you a 1099. You have moved six times since the last address the lender had for you so it gets returned. You never receive it. BUT the IRS gets their copy and bills you for $10K in unreported income and penalties. You were expecting a huge refund that year and the IRS gets it. NOT fun.

I lost a large repo account for accidentally calling a debtor's father at 200am one time. Law says you can approach at any reasonable time usually aften 1000pm I quit. UNLESS, there are lights on, folks moving around, they are out in yard etc. Knocking the door after being told "debtor doesn't live here" is not cool. telling anyone but the debtor about their personal info is not cool. Okay, now where did he get your car from? Surely NOT your parents home? Or did they tell him where you were?

Unfortunately, People get behind and cars get repo'ed. I myself repo vehicles. I know you probably all hate me for that but I have also had a vehicle repo'ed in the past. We all have times in life when things just suck but If I may give you'll some advice. 1) Don't ever perchase a vehicle for a family member, they really don't care about your credit, they didn't care about their own or they would have probably got the loan themselves. 2)If a repo person calls you to find out where you are, they will probably have your vehicle with 24 hours. So, if they say call your lender to try and stop it, I would call. There's always hope to call if off. The banks loose money when a car is repo'ed. 3)Even if you think you have tried everything, call a local bank or your bank and try to get it refianced with someone eles. There's always someone out there willing to lend money. Gook luck to all of you, hope I don't have to repo your car.

I just read the following answer by anonymous to the question concerning your rights in a repossession:

"I am a repo man, and ironicly this happend on a case last week. The debtor (you in this case) filed for bankruptcy at 8:00am. I repoed his car at 7:30pm that night. After a few days on the phone with his laywer, and bank, the car was returned at the descretion of the bank. So, if you file before your car is repo'd, you can keep the car for that period of time. Your report will show what the bank wants to say, call them about it. Once your car is repo'd that's it, bankruptcy cannot help."

Anonymous is mistaken -

Even after a car has been repossessed, if the person whose car was repossessed then files bankruptcy after the car has been repossessed, and if they file for bankruptcy after the car was repossessed but BEFORE the car is then resold to another person, it is possible to compel the creditor to return the car to the debtor.

The reason for this is that the debtor can file a motion asking the car to be returned to the debtor because by repossessing the car right before the bankruptcy, the repossessing creditor is placing itself in a better position than other creditors (it is called a "preference"), and the court on that basis can order the car to be returned.

Breach of the Peace: Taking the vehicle from driveways, open carports, and parking lots at work is generally allowed. But the repossession company may not:

  • enter a closed or locked garage, or otherwise break and enter any property
  • enter into your house, unless invited
  • damage the vehicle during the repossession
  • threaten or commit violence, or touch anyone
  • threaten you with arrest
  • force you to pull over to the side of the road
  • have sheriffs or police present unless the creditor has already sued you

True to all of the above and including:

  • If you tell them to get off your property, they MUST do so.
  • Cannot block or disable the vehicle.
  • Cannot misrepresent themselves. Giving another name or state another occupation is illegal.
  • If you decide to surrender the vehicle, you are allowed to obtain all personal items from the vehicle and to remove the tags. The tags are registered to the owner, and the owner is responsible for them. Also, remove the registration and insurance cards.
  • If the repo man fails to abide to any of the above,(including the above post) call the police and have them arrested. The rights are with the property owner, and any violation including "Breach of Peace" will NOT be tolerated by any law enforcement officer!
  • Read the terms of your loan thoroughly before you sign. It's a lot of boring fine print, but it's important. I was surprised to find my contract included my permission to let the bank onto my property to take my car should I default! So I had basically signed away my right to refuse to let the repo man into my closed garage!
  • I was a police officer in Milwaukee for a number of years. I retired in 1984. So, my answer may be dated. When people called us to say that their garage was broken open and their vehicle was stolen, we told them that it was a civil matter and to talk to the district attorney if they wanted. We always received a phone call after the repo men had left, so we knew what happened to their vehicle and why. When we informed them that their vehicle was repo'd by the loan company, they usually just hung up. I was never called to settle a dispute if the repo people were confronted because that never happened in my 25 years. The repo people are good at their job and we never had a confrontation.
  • Please check out these Ohio Statutes:

Regarding Ohio not having a breach of the peace law, your repo man is mistaken.

Please see below-these are Ohio Laws verbatim-

Section B-2 - Would indicate that there is codified in Ohio a breach of the peace statute.

1309.609. (UCC 9-609) Secured party's right to take possession after default. (A) After default, a secured party: (1) May take possession of the collateral; and (2) Without removal, may render equipment unusable and dispose of collateral on a debtor's premises under section 1309.610 of the Revised Code.

(B) A secured party may act under division (A) of this section: (1) Pursuant to judicial process; or (2) Without judicial process if it acts without breach of the peace.

Also whoever said that the repo man -) Cannot block or disable the vehicle.( Is not fully informed re Ohio law pursuant to 1309.609 (A)(2) which states that the repo man can bust up your stuff. (render equipment unusable in legal terms).

I am the sales manager & collections dept. of a small dealership in Seattle. We finance many of the cars we sell ouself (inhouse). I have done many repo's myself when they are easy(like when the car is near the dealership and we have extra keys and can just drive the car away). The people who live farther away or when the car is blocked in we use a repo company. In Washington we legally can repo a car at 1 second past midnight if a payment was due that day. We can open a gate to remove a car as long as the gate isn't locked. We cant move another car to get to the repo car. We cant open a garage and take the car, that would be breaking and entering. If the people protest we cant take the car(that's why its often done at night,so you don't see the people.

People may remove all personal belongings from a car after its been repoed, as long as they don't devalue the car. They cant take back fancy wheels they might have put on, remove the stereo or speakers, seats, etc. If they have a speaker box and amp, they may remove that.

Most repoed cars are sent to wholesale auction(dealer only) where they sell for about 30-40% of what you paid for it 1-2 years ago. If the car is resold for more than you owe(in Washington anyway), they must pay you back the difference. If you owe alot the car will be cleaned up before it goes to auction so they can get back more of what is owed, but if you do not owe very much they leave the car dirty and full of grabage to insure a low selling price so they do not have to refund you any money.

Many times these laws are taken loosely or bent to get the car back, I would guess, always having followed the law to the letter ourself. You must remember there are some people who have had 5 or more cars repossessed and know the laws and try to use it to keep their car. They do not intend to pay for a car when they buy it, they then try to hide the car, trade cars with a friend, block it in their driveway, etc. Usually we can spot these people before we let them buy a car, their only concern is the down payment, they don't care at all about the monthly payments or interest.

Many small dealerships do reposes their cars once a payment is only several days late. We generally don't sent a car in for repossession until they have not paid in 2 months and they will not return our calls or letters. If they have called to let us know they were having problems or sent in at least part of a payment we may wait a while longer but once a 3rd payment is missed the car is sent in to be picked up for sure. It is expensive, we usually spend over $300 to get a car picked up from a repo company. We would much rather keep the car sold to the person who bought it, but there comes a time when we realize we may not ever get any more money from the person and we either send them to collections, repo the car, or write it off as a loss. Typically a repoed car is very dirty, broken headlight, taillight or other damage not there we we sold it, not taken care of, full of garbage and has hardly enough gas to make it to a gas station.

Car Buying
Used Car Buying

Where can you buy repossessed cars?

Here is a variety of advice:

  • If I were you I would check out your county for repossessions to be sold they generally sale for 2/3 of the loan value.
  • I would NOT buy a car that has been repoed. Simple logic tells me that the driver was NOT doing ANY repairs or even oil changes, before it got pulled away. In my years of experience doing vehicle repos, (yes I do know what I am talking about here) the number of outright clunkers was higher than 75 percent.
  • Junk on wheels is what we used to call them. Run to death and barely able to be driven. Buyer beware is what I say.
  • What if my truck worth 15k is repoed because I quit paying on the 20k loan. Then I buy it at auction because I know I took care of it? Heck, I could even dirty it up inside a little first so it will auction for less.
  • It won't work. If it was repo'd by a buy-here-pay-here lot, they'll put it back on the lot and certainly aren't going to deal with you. If it was taken by a bank or manufacturer's finance company, it is going to a wholesale auction where you need a dealer's license to bid. Some smaller credit unions or finance companies will sell their repo's in their parking lot, but that's just like the BHPH place - they aren't going to talk to you. Besides, you STILL OWE the difference between the loan (plus repo fees) and what it brings. It's cheaper to make your payments.
  • It's fine to buy a repo car if you take someone with you who knows a bit about cars. Where repo cars are sold is different from place to place. Try Googling your city and car auctions or else looking up auctions in the phone book.

  • Call your local Credit Unions and ask them if they have any vehicles for sale. Most of them do these days. These are high quality cars for good prices and you are buying from a reliable source. Credit Unions will also give you good financing terms to get the cars off of their books. You could search online or just open the phone book and start calling.
Cars & Vehicles
Auto Loans and Financing
Civil Lawsuits

Can you still owe money after your car is repossessed?

Yes, your car will be sold and if the price they sell it for is less than the balance left on the loan, plus the repossession fees, you will be responsible for that difference and will have to pay it.

Auto Loans and Financing
Credit and Debit Cards

How is your balance calculated according the finance charge on owner financing?

Examples of computation methods include the following:

The most common credit card balance calculation method credits your account from the day payment is received by the issuer. To figure the balance due, the issuer totals the beginning balance for each day in the billing period and subtracts any credits made to your account that day. While new purchases may or may not be added, depending on your plan, cash advances typically are included. The resulting daily balances are added for the billing cycle. The total is then divided by the number of days in the billing period to get the "average daily balance."

Usually the most advantageous method for card holders, the balance is determined by subtracting payments or credits received during the current billing period from the amount left at the end of the previous billing period. Purchases made during the billing period aren't included.

Using this method, the cardholder has until the end of the billing cycle to pay a portion of your balance to avoid the interest charges on that amount. Some creditors exclude prior, unpaid finance charges from the previous balance.

The previous balance is the amount you owed at the end of the previous billing period. Payments, credits and new purchases during the current billing period are not included. Some creditors also exclude unpaid finance charges.

Issuers sometimes use various methods to calculate your credit card balance that make use of your last two month's account activity. Read your agreement carefully to find out if your issuer uses this approach and, if so, what specific two-cycle method is used.

If you don't understand how your finance charge is calculated, ask your card issuer. An explanation must also appear on your billing statements.

Auto Parts and Repairs
Title Insurance

How much does title insurance cost?

Title insurance rates vary from state to state and market to market. In some states, the fees are set by the AGENT, and are market competitive -- they may be negotiated by the Agent. In other states, the rates and fees are regulated by that state's Department of Insurance and the fees may not be negotiated - higher or lower than the regulated fees. In both cases, the premium fees are calculated on a per $1000 rate. That rate is then based on whether the transaction is a "basic" rate, "re-issue" rate, "refinance" rate or "new construction" rate. Basic rate covers a policy issued on a Purchase transaction and usually calculated on the Purchase Price and the Mortgage Amount. Re-Issue rate covers a policy issued on a Purchase transaction and whether or not the Sellers can provide backtitle to the Buyers. The back title criteria is typically based on how old the Sellers' Owner's Policy is. (Usually a lower per $1000 rate than basic) Refinance rate covers a policy issued to the current owner on a Mortgage loan. Depending on the state, the previous mortgage amount may have a bearing on how the rate is calculated.(Usually a lower per $1000 rate than basic) New construction rates covers the builder during the construction of the property, before the construction is complete. (Usually a significantly lower rate than basic since the property is not a fully finished home/building during the time of coverage.) New construction rates do NOT cover a buyer purchasing a completed home from the builder, only the time the home is BEING constructed and covering the builder.


Is there any way to get a repossessed car back without paying the loan in full?

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 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?
Body Piercing

What are the Iowa piercing laws?

Legally someone born Thursday could get a naval ring, tongue piercing or other body modification. It's something lawmakers are talking about and parents might want to know.

Iowa law says you have to be at least 18 to get a tattoo. But piercings? There is no age requirement.

Cars & Vehicles
Car Buying

What should you do if your car is a lemon?

Lemon VehiclesStates with lemon laws allow the owner a refund or replacement when a new vehicle has a substantial problem that is not fixed within a reasonable number of attempts. Many specify a refund or replacement when a substantial problem is not fixed in four repair attempts or the car has been out of service for 30 days within the first 12,000 miles/12 months. If you believe that your car is a lemon:
  • Contact your state or local consumer protection office for information on the laws in your state and the steps you must take to resolve the situation;
  • Give the dealer a list of symptoms every time you bring it in for repairs; keep copies for your records;
  • Get copies of the repair orders showing the reported problems, the repairs performed and the dates that the car was in the shop; and
  • Contact the manufacturer, as well as the dealer, to report the problem. Some state laws require that you do so to give the manufacturer a chance to fix the problem. Your owner's manual will list an address for the manufacturer.

Here are more answers and opinions from other FAQ Farmers:

  • This term is generally not understood by the public. Example: A bad tire, then the AC goes out followed by a piece of moulding coming loose. While frustrating, these different problems do not fall under the "Lemon Law". It has strict guidelines to protect dealers from spurious claims. Not an easy process as the paperwork is tedious and specific. Once the vehicle has been deemed a lemon, a complicated formula is used to pro-rate another vehicle sale.

The most important part of recouping money for your claim is documentation.

Auto Loans and Financing
Small Business Loans

Can you sell your own car to your own business?

Check out the tax laws. If you are a sole proprietor, you may be able to write off mileage, which would be the simple thing to do. If it were me, I would avoid the crossover of personal assets with business assets.

Cars & Vehicles
Car Buying

Can I buy an air car in Europe?

As of today, July 2009, no air cars are on the market yet. There is however a French company, MDI, that has its prototypes, after 15 years of research and development, ready for final tests at the Air France air line facilities this summer. Their first model, the Airpod, is expected to be massproduced from end of 2009 on, in France and Andorra and in 2010 in Switzerland and probably elsewhere also. Zero Pollution Motors ltd intends to build and sell MDI compressed air cars in the USA from 2010 on. Up to now, more than 50 licenses for local MDI plants have been sold all over the world. Tata Motors of India has bought early 2007 the rights to use the MDI engine for whatever purpose it chooses (in cars, as power generator etc...), but only in India. It intends to market a version of its Tata Nano with a compressed air engine, but has not put forward a date. Meanwhile, Tata Motors continues improving the air engine in cooperation with MDI engineers on a regular basis. You can find all information, models, pictures, videos, links and the latest news on

Auto Loans and Financing

What rights does a cosigner have when a car is repossessed when the cosigner is the parent and the adult child missed payments?

  • Cosigning a loan means that you are willing and able to ensure that loan payments are made in any situation in which the other party fails to pay.
  • As a cosigner you are just as responsible for the loan as your adult child. If the bank repos and then auctions the car you are responsible for any balance due and the bank will come after you not just your daughter to recover their money.
  • Any repossession can and generally will be reported on your credit reports as well as hers. Additionally, since your financial situation is likely better than your adult child's, debt collectors would generally come after you more aggressively for repayment of any deficient loan balance.
  • I would get the car from your adult child and make the payments. Have your adult child pay you directly. That way your credit is covered and it will also improve her credit.
  • Take possession of the vehicle and pay it in full. Once you own it outright, you can give it to your adult child or sell it to anyone you choose and your credit will remain intact. If the bank already repo'd it, go talk to them, pay the loan in full and transfer the title into your name.
  • Never cosign a loan for anybody for any reason unless you're willing to assume responsibility. The BLAME goes with BOTH of you. Your child for not being responsible and yourself for letting you get roped into this situation. Never cosign a loan unless you can be fully responsible for the loan just like it was your own. The principle party from a credit perspective will destroy your credit if they don't pay the loan and there is nothing you can do.

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