Dealing with Car Repossession

Consumer Finance - May 13, 2024
Distraught woman on the phone dealing with a car repossession

Are you worried about an impending car repossession? Nobody wants to lose their precious, hard-earned vehicle. But sometimes, life gets complicated, you may be behind on your car loan payment, and before you know it, your lender is threatening to take your automobile away. Is there anything you can do in this situation when you find yourself in the thick of it?

You can seek to communicate honestly and openly with your lender to find out if they will let you work out a compromise that lets you keep your vehicle while you pay off your outstanding debts to them. We can’t stress enough how important it is to be proactive in your payments to avoid this problem at all; if you do receive notice that your car may be repossessed, taking prompt corrective action is essential. Understanding options may help you if you find yourself in this situation.

Understand loan agreements

The first step is to understand what you signed up for when you took out that loan to pay for your car. If necessary, ask your lender to clearly explain the terms of your loan. What is the total amount and interest rate? What are the penalties if you fail to make a payment on time? Are you able to take advantage of a grace perioda certain amount of time allowed to you if you fall behind on your payment plan?

Woman looking at document and worried about car repossession.

Technically, your lender can begin the process of repossessing your car after the first payment that you fail to make. Talk to your lender to be sure that you are up to date on how this works at your specific financial institution.

Communicate with your lender

Call or visit your lender in person to see if you can work out a compromise to avoid losing your vehicle. It’s best to be prompt and honest in your approach. Speak with your lender as soon as possible.

Consider selling or trading the vehicle

You may wonder how selling or trading your vehicle is any better than having it repossessed. After all, both situations leave you without a car! But selling the car could get you some money to help pay off your outstanding loans, and trading it could mean you get a different, more affordable car in its place. And either way, your credit would avoid taking the huge hit that it would receive if you were to surrender your car for repossession. Make sure you know the amount required to pay off your loan and other fees.

Know your legal protections and rights

You have the right to speak with an attorney to go over your rights and options. It can be helpful for you to have a lawyer on your side as you deal with the repossession of your vehicle. A lawyer can help you review your loan agreement, pointing out important details that you may have missed. A lawyer can also help validate legal compliance and assist you with taking the necessary steps.

Take the next step toward legal empowerment

As you face the repossession of your vehicle, know that you don’t have to go through this alone. Discuss the issue with your lender by all means, but also sign up for LegalShield protection. We put you in contact with a provider lawyer who can help with a wide range of consumer issues, including debt and insurance disputes, tax and real estate problems, and more.

Read this blog post to understand the basics of car repossession. Check out this blog post for more details.

Do you have questions? Learn how LegalShield works to protect your rights and provide the advice and empowerment you deserve.


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