When creditors attempt to repossess your vehicle, there are rules they have to follow to protect you and keep the peace. Here are five things the creditors CAN'T do when they attempt to take your car.
A repo man can't send you to prison.
A repo agent may claim you're breaking the law by trying to stop the repossession, and even threaten to have you arrested or sent to prison; but as long as you're not hurting anyone, these are empty threats. This is a civil matter, not a criminal one. You won't go to prison for not missing your car payments or for trying peacefully to stop the repossession.
In some states, the repo agent can bring an officer or sheriff along for the repossession. This is not to arrest you — it is usually to help keep the peace, especially if the agent is afraid you might retaliate.
A repo man can't threaten you physically.
Unfortunately, some creditors or banks will hire pretty seedy characters to handle repossession. Sometimes the repo man has even served time in prison or has a history of violence. If a repo man threatens you physically or wields any sort of weapon when approaching you, report it to the police as soon as possible.
Remember, most repossession agents are just doing their job. Because of the nature of the business, they are often threatened or attacked by people when they show up to repossess the car. So they may already be defensive and nervous around you, just as you are around them.
Report assault or threats but also try to treat everyone with respect. It is a terrible situation, but it will help you in the long run.
A repo man can't break into enclosed property.
If you need to protect your car from repossession, close it up in a garage or put it behind a locked fence. This is only a short-term solution, but it gives you time to call a bankruptcy attorney and stop the repossession from going through.
A repo man can't just take your car without reporting their activity first.
You should already have received warnings about repossession before it happens. In addition, creditors are supposed to let the police know if and when they are repossessing a car. So if you have a run-in with a repo agent, you are allowed to call the police and confirm it's a real repossession and not theft.
A repo man can't force you out of your car.
In general, repo agents are not supposed to touch you or use force on you, unless in self-defense.
If these rules are broken, you may be able to receive compensation. Call us today at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney. Or you can email us and schedule your free consultation.