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Buy-Here-Pay-Here Repossession

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Mark Cappel
UpdatedMay 10, 2024

I bought a car from a buy-here-pay-here location. I had it repossessed after being late four days with no notice. Is that legal

I bought a car from a buy-here-pay-here location. I owned the car for almost two months. I just had it repossessed after being late 4 days. I received no noticed at all. Is this legal? I invested over $2,000 into the car and only had it for less than 60 days. He also repossessed my friend's car after being late only 2 days and did not want to fix his car as promised.

A creditor has legal authority to seize your vehicle as soon as you default on your loan or lease. State laws differ, so you must read your contract to find out what constitutes a "default." Generally speaking, failing to make a payment on time or to meet your other contractual responsibilities are considered defaults. Creditors are allowed on your property to seize your car without letting you know in advance in most states.

Generally speaking, the law does not require a creditor to give a debtor a grace period if the debtor is late in making a payment. However, smart creditors who want to develop a positive reputation and earn the loyalty of their customers will give their customers notice and some grace if the customer is late in a payment.

On the other hand, if a customer is late making their month-two payment, that does not bode well for the future.

Whether the creditor violated a state law by not giving you notice before repossessing the car is not a question I can answer because you did not include your state of residence in your message. Consult with an attorney in your state who has experience in consumer law to learn if the creditor violated any state laws when repossessing the vehicle. Ask the attorney if you have the right to "reinstate" the loan if you make the payment due. Reinstatement is restoring a past-due loan to a current status.

You mentioned you "invested" $2,000 in the vehicle. If you spent that money on accessories such as fancy rims and low aspect ratio tires you may be entitled to those items or to receive reimbursement for their value. Again, this is a question for an attorney to answer.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



Struggling with debt?

If you are struggling with debt, you are not alone. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Quarter Q4 2023 was $17.503 trillion. Student loan debt was $1.601 trillion and credit card debt was $1.129 trillion.

A significant percentage of people in the US are struggling with monthly payments and about 26% of households in the United States have debt in collections. According to data gathered by from a sample of credit reports, the median debt in collections is $1,739. Credit card debt is prevalent and 3% have delinquent or derogatory card debt. The median debt in collections is $422.

Each state has its rate of delinquency and share of debts in collections. For example, in Virginia credit card delinquency rate was 3%, and the median credit card debt was $423.

While many households can comfortably pay off their debt, it is clear that many people are struggling with debt. Make sure that you analyze your situation and find the best debt payoff solutions to match your situation.



MMissy, May, 2020

I am behind on my Financed car from a buy here pay here due to me being laid off my job due to the covid-19 outbreak. They have given me multiple weeks to make a payment and I have yet to do so, due to no income and they already know so. So they called me and asked if I wanted to keep the car and I informed them I did not want to keep it due to no income and did not want the payments to keep stacking up. So I told them since they were 2 hours from where I live I could not return it personally, but asked if they just come and repo it. They have yet to repo it. They keep harassing me for payments. What should I so?

DDaniel Cohen, Jul, 2020

Missy, I can't give legal advice, as only an attorney can properly do so. Here are a couple of thoughts, with the understanding that I am not giving you legal advice.

I don't know if you have a lot of leverage in this situation. They may be precluded from repossessing the car due to laws put in place to protect consumers due to COVID. It is possible that a voluntary repossession is permissible versus one where they take the car against your will. One solution is to find someone who will drive to the the car dealer in his/her car and then give you a ride home. 

Turning in the car doesn't stop the requirement that you pay them back on the loan. In fact, the entire amount becomes due, less the amount they can sell the car for, but with some additional costs for the auction they use to sell the car. Better to try and negotiate the payments, seeing if they will add the ones you missed to the end of the loan, especially if you need transportation. Otherwise, you will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get another car loan.

Check with your state's Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Department to see if the harassment you are experiencing is a violation of the COVID-based protections. If that is the case, you may be able to use the lender's bad conduct to get flexibility from them.

ccherry, Aug, 2011
i recently had my car repo'd by the lien holder. The thing is I wasn't behind on my payment. So, I asked the son of the lien holder why were they taking my car. He said that it's because you have a payment due Tomorrow and you are behind on your payment. But, I went and found all the receipts from March of 2011 up to July of 2011 and the next payment was due in August. That's when they came and got my car. But, when they came his wife pulled a stun gun out at me a clicked it in my face 3 time. Were they supposed to have had a weapon when they came up in my gated fence? My husband and i didn't have a weapon at all we were unarmed. The next day I called the lien holder and asked, Why did you repo my car?" Her answer was because we couldn't get in touch with you and you are two months behind and you don't have any insurance. Remember, she said that I was late for the month of April and May but I found those two receipts and I also have June and July's receipts. The only amount I owe on that truck was $1,186.00. It would have been mine. I was so proud to have had paid my first truck off; it would have been a blessing for me and my kids.
BBill, Aug, 2011
You should call the police and your state's Attorney General's Consumer Affairs office. Your truck should not have been repossessed, when you have proof of making your payments. Take the right steps to protect yourself!
RRobert, Sep, 2011
Most buy here pay here lots require you to carry full coverage insurance, if your insurance gets canceled for non payment your car can be repo'ed for not carrying required ins.
BBuy Here Pay Here Schenectady, Nov, 2010
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