Law Archive

Foreclosure – Avoid Repossession – Know the Law and Your Options

How To Make A Repossession StopThere is really only one way to actually make a repossession stop, and that is to contact your creditors before the repossession process begins. In some areas and states the creditor has to legally notify you of a repossession, while in other’s they don’t. In the case of a home repossession, you will be notified regardless of what state you live in but a car or other item can be repossessed with just one skipped or defaulted payment, depending on the financing agreement and purchase contract that you signed.Making a repossession stop usually includes being able to make a lump sum payment on the outstanding balance of the defaulted payments, paying off the loan in entirety or coming up with a schedule of repayment for the missed payments plus the future payments that the lender accepts. Using these options to make a repossession stop are the basic options, there may be others such as selling the item and paying the lender from the sale. In most cases in the “short sale” scenario the original borrower will still need to add in some cash to make sure that the loan is paid off in full.Making a repossession stop, even if it means taking out another loan, often makes good sense if you have the ability to pay both the original loan as well as the second loan. A repossession is a huge negative on your credit score and rating and will remain on your credit record for seven years. Is some cases a repossession, especially on a large item such as a car or a house can prevent you from being able to get a loan for long after the seven years as it is likely that there have been other non-payments of loans on credit cards or other debts prior to the repossession which will often show up after the repossession occurs.It is important under these situations that you acknowledge and proactively work towards preventing the repossession. Stop hiding or pretending that if you don’t open the letters from the creditors they will just go away. This is probably the biggest mistake that consumer’s make and it is easy to correct. Usually if you contact the creditor either before or immediately after the default in the payment they will be willing to consider your suggestions and work with you. If you allow the default payments to occur more than one payment period or simply don’t respond to their calls and letters the lender has little choice but to move towards getting their property or item back.Getting the advice of a credit counselor, attorney or other financial expert is a great idea if you are worried about repossession. Often working with these professionals will help your lender understand you are serious about correcting the problem and have a plan for the future.Where To Find Repossession Laws When you are facing the possibility of any type of repossession it is always tough to calm down and do the research you need to find out what repossession laws apply to your specific situation. It is also common to resort to rely on information on repossession laws from family, friends and even co-workers who are not usually well informed and truly knowledgeable on the subject.In reality not all items are subject to the same types of repossession laws and each state has their own specific repossession laws. It is not reasonable to think that repossessing a house would be the same as repossessing a car or a computer system that is not being paid for. Generally most states provide a longer grace period or resolution period for higher priced item such as houses and properties and shorter grace periods for cars and appliances or electronics. In addition the contact that you signed with the seller regarding the payment plans, fees and repossession terms are also considered as part of the legal issues around a repossession. In some contracts even one missed payment may be grounds for starting the repossession process.Each state has their own specific repossession laws and legal requirements for seizing property or possessions. It is important, as the consumer, to understand what the repossession company can and cannot do to take back the item, as if they don’t do it right you may be entitled to compensation and damages. Ideally each consumer that is facing repossession or has had something repossessed should consult with a qualified and licensed attorney to find out what repossession laws apply in their situation and if any legal issues were breached during the process.Some states require that all repossessions be filed through the court and the borrower or consumer provided notice of a pending repossession. Other states allow the lender to start the process immediately upon breach of the purchase and finance contract; without notification to the consumer. Knowing which option is legal in your state is simple, just use any search engine to look for sites using the search terms of your state name and the phrase “repossession laws”. In addition research books at your local library or contact the Better Business Bureau in your area that can provide specific information for your state as will as the type of property you are facing repossession on.It is critical to use only the information provided on repossession laws for your state and the type of item that is in default payments. If you have the incorrect information you are more likely to make poor decisions that may end up costing you more money in the long run.