When you first get the keys to your shiny new car, you never imagine that it will be taken away from you one day. But if you miss too many car payments in a row, the day may come that your car is repossessed to settle the debt, whether you’re prepared for it or not.
Although it can be extremely nerve-wracking to deal with a car repossession, it’s critical you keep your cool. The next few steps after your auto repossession can help you regain control of your loan, rebuild your credit, and ultimately help you move towards solid financial ground again.
From our Brevard County repossession lawyers, here are a few of the ways you can recover when the repo man comes to call.
Next Steps for Recovering from a Car Repossession
The very first thing you should do after an auto repossession is call your car loan lender. Even if you’ve been made aware that your car could be repossessed, it’s critical that you verify the exact reason for your auto repossession with the lender or bank as soon as possible. In some cases, it may be due to lack of proper car insurance, the lender’s failure to process a payment, or even a simple clerical error.
No matter the reason, verifying the details your repossession in a timely manner is of the essence. The law varies from state to state, but typically you are only given 10 days to act on all the available options before your car is auctioned off.
Once you’ve confirmed the repossession with your lender, here are the next steps you should consider:
- Check for any damage left by repo workers, either on your property or on the car. Although the car is not your legal property, and repo companies are fully entitled to take it at the lender’s behest, the repo company cannot use excessive force on the vehicle or damage any of your property in the process. If there has been substantial damage to your garage, the car, or your belongings, you may have grounds to sue for damages and even have the car returned.
- Reclaim any property left in your car. Legally, any property left in the car during repossession is still yours. If anyone tries to prevent you from retrieving your items, or from viewing the car for damages, it could constitute illegal activity.
- Decide whether to reinstate the loan or redeem the car. While it will depend on your unique financial situation and state, the lender or bank will give you a set time period to decide on your next course of action. You will most likely be given two primary options to keep your car: The first is to reinstate your original loan and bring the loan up-to-date, including interest. The second is to redeem the car by paying off the entire outstanding balance.
Above all, it’s recommended that you speak with a qualified attorney after your car is repossessed. There may be other options that the lender has purposely withheld from you, such as negotiating for a new loan, or holding the company accountable for failing to provide adequate notice.
At The Buchalter Law Group, our repossession attorneys have been helping clients in Brevard County to regain their property and peace of mind for more than 35 years. We can help you sort through the existing options and make the right decision for your finances.
Need assistance with an auto repossession in Merritt Island? Contact us today at (321) 320-6088 for a free and confidential evaluation on your case.