If you receive warnings of possible repossession or your car has already been repossessed, continue reading. Repossession law can be complex and varies in different states. If your car has already been repossessed you may have only a small time frame to act and should immediately contact a bankruptcy lawyer you trust to help you act in your best interests.
What Is Car Repossession
As seasoned bankruptcy lawyer, Carolyn Secor, P.A. can explain, If you purchase a car using a loan, you often have to sign a contract ensuring that you will pay back the amount owed. This is done to provide security to the lender. If you fail to make a full payment your car may be taken away from you even without going to court. State laws and the terms of your contract will determine how and why the lender can take back your vehicle. The most common reasons for repossession are lack of payment, and failing to have car insurance. A bankruptcy lawyer puts their trust in can provide you with details of why your car may be repossessed and how the laws vary based on state and contract.
What Happens After Repossession
When your car has been repossessed the lender now has the power to sell your car in order to make up the failed payments. Even if your car has been repossessed, you may still have to pay the lender any amount that is not covered by the sale of your vehicle. The balance left after your car has been sold is referred to as the deficiency balance. The car lender may be able to sue you in court for the deficiency balance if necessary.
Defense Against Deficiency Action
As repossession lawyer in Clearwater, Florida can tell you, there are several ways to defend against action concerning the deficiency balance. One reason could be if the lender breached the peace when repossessing the car which means that they took the car by force against your objections, or trespassed while taking the car. Another reason is if the lender did not sell the car in a commercially reasonable manner. Lastly, you may use the “statute of limitations” as a defense if the lender has waited too long to sue you in a court of law.
Can I Get My Car Back?
If the lender has not yet sold your car you may be able to get your car back through a number of different ways. You could buy back your car, purchase it at auction, reinstate the loan, or file for bankruptcy. You should seek the counsel of a bankruptcy lawyer in Clearwater, Florida believes in before exploring any of these options.
If your car has been repossessed or you fear that it may be, seek the counsel of a Memphis repossession lawyer immediately. Do not wait until it is too late, having experienced legal counsel on your side can be imperative in getting the results you want. Call a bankruptcy lawyer in Clearwater, Florida you can count on today.
What to Do When Your Vehicle Is Repossessed
If your vehicle has been repossessed – or if the financial lender is threatening to repossess – consider speaking with a repossession attorney to find out what type of legal protections are available to you.
In order to determine if you need a Clearwater, Florida bankruptcy lawyer, it is important to know just how vehicle repossession works. When you signed the contract for the loan you took out to purchase your vehicle, you were agreeing that the lender has a security interest in that vehicle until the loan is paid in full. If you default on that loan, then the lender is usually able to repossess the vehicle without having to go to court and sue you for the right to take the vehicle back. The specific rules in how this process works depend on what your state law on repossession is and what the terms of the contract are. A lender may also be able to repossess a vehicle if you fail to have an active auto insurance liability policy.
Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?
If your vehicle was repossessed because you fell behind in payments, but you have the money to pay the delinquent amount and get the vehicle back, you most likely do not need to retain the services of a repossession lawyer. However, there are several other scenarios where it would likely be in your best interest. These include:
The lender repossessed your vehicle even though you were not late with payments.
If your vehicle was repossessed but you were not in default and were current in your payments per the contract, you may need to file a lawsuit in order to get the vehicle back. For example, if your contract states that you are not in default of your loan if you are less than 30 days late with your payment, but the lender repossessed the vehicle because you were 15 days late with your payment, then the repossession may be considered illegal.
Other actions by the lender can also negate the rules of default if the lender has overlooked them in the past by accepting late payments without putting the loan in default or changing the due date of the loan. A bankruptcy lawyer in Clearwater, Florida can assist you with filing a lawsuit and getting your vehicle back.
The lender has repossessed our vehicle, but you do not want a deficiency judgment.
When a person has had their vehicle repossessed, the lender will likely sell the vehicle at a vehicle auction. If there is any balance left on the loan after the proceeds of the auction sale are applied to the loan, you are still responsible for that debt deficiency. For example, your vehicle was repossessed with a loan balance left of $10,000. The lender sells the vehicle at auction for $6,000, which the lender applies to the balance of your loan. This still leaves a deficiency of $4,000, which you will be responsible for.
The lender may turn around and sue you in order to obtain a deficiency judgment by the court which allows them different legal methods to collect that deficiency. A deficiency judgment could order your bank to turn funds from your accounts over to the lender. A deficiency judgment could also allow the lender to have your wages garnished as a way to pay off the balance of the loan. A repossession lawyer may be able to defend against the deficiency judgment and the possible actions against you.
Contact a Repossession Lawyer for Assistance
If you are facing repossession or have already lost your vehicle, contact a bankruptcy lawyer today.