How Can I Stop a Repossession In Oklahoma City?
Are you behind payments on your car loan? Are you worried that your creditors will repossess your vehicle? Keeping up with bills in today’s world can sometimes be a tremendous strain, and many individuals default on their loans. Sad to say, most financial institutions are unconcerned about your situation. Only your money matters to them. If you can’t come up with the payment, a repo agent will be sent to your house.
When you already have so much else to contend with in your day-to-day life, losing your property is the last thing you want to deal with. The highly competent bankruptcy lawyers at Scott Harris Law, PLLC can help you understand your rights and legal protections against creditors.
Our trusted bankruptcy attorney in Oklahoma City can help you stop repossession and help you throughout the bankruptcy process. If a trial becomes necessary, you can rely on us that we will be there for you. Call us right away for free legal advice on your case!
Getting To Know Collectors
Before we talk about how to keep your car from being repossessed, let’s first discuss the inner workings of bill collectors and repo-men.
To be an effective bill collector, you have to collect. Those who are best at what they do often persuade or threaten debtors. They get a commission for every dollar they get from the debtor. This could be why repo-men don’t come until you’ve missed two or more payments in a row.
Even though they know you’re having money problems, these people want to get as much money as they can from you before taking your car and selling it. Even then, they not only sell your vehicle but also charge you fees for repossession, cleanup, and legal bills on top of the remaining debt, which they will run after you for.
Have you ever wondered what will happen to your vehicle once it’s repossessed? Because the lender would want the loan recovered, the collector is tasked with collecting it. So the only means to do so is to sell your vehicle. Some lenders have even made a lot of money in the past by selling the repossessed car more than once.
Understand Your Rights
If you need to keep the car, you can protect it by filing for bankruptcy. In bankruptcy chapter 7, you can “reaffirm” a vehicle (as well as other assets) by utilizing the exemptions in the bankruptcy code. Although in Chapter 7, you usually have to be up to date on your payments to reaffirm the loan.
If you can’t keep up with your expenses, you can keep the car if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and use a payment plan to catch up on late payments.
What Are The Specific Steps I Can Do to Stop My Car From Being Repossessed?
Filing bankruptcy may be the best option for certain people due to financial circumstances. Or at the least, the bankruptcy will put the following things on hold:
- Wage garnishments
- Home foreclosure
- deficiency balance collection measures
- lawsuits seeking deficiency judgments
In most cases, you can file consumer bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or 13. Your vehicle loan is affected depending on which bankruptcy chapter you declare. Even though you can’t be sued for the unpaid balance if you file for either chapter of bankruptcy, you can’t hold on to the vehicle unless you make arrangements to pay for it.
If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you might only need to pay your vehicle’s current value with a lesser interest rate. You must act quickly if your lender has already repossessed your car. You generally have ten days to file Chapter 13 from repossession.
Talk To Your Creditor
Repossession is painful for debtors and lenders when they lose their cars or properties for failing to pay their monthly payments. Most creditors claim that they’d instead get paid than take the property back because they usually lose money in repossession.
The saddest aspect is that most repossessions might have been averted if the debtor had done a few simple things before defaulting on their loan.
Repossession of collateral on a delinquent loan is every lender’s last recourse. However, this only happens with a small number of installment loans. Nonetheless, creditors repossess property such as home appliances, cars, yachts, and priceless artworks everywhere in the country.
Experts agree that the best way to keep a car from being repossessed is for the person who owes money to call the lender as soon as the debtor realizes they might not be able to make a car payment. The debtor should work out a plan to pay back the money owed.
Park Your Vehicle In Your Garage
The fastest way to recover your vehicle is to never hand it to them in the first place. It is illegal for a repo man to go inside a private residence to retrieve a car. But this doesn’t apply to your driveway or a side street. A man’s garage is his castle. Your vehicle will not be repossessed if you keep your car in a private garage.
Just be forewarned that a trip to Wal-Mart, your office parking lot, or any other public area may give the repo man the opportunity for repossession. They will monitor your home and follow you everywhere you go. You should also expect your repo man to soon return with a court order and a deputy. Because of this, concealing your vehicle will no longer serve as a deterrent.
Find Out What The Repo Man Can And Can’t Do.
This might not help you with this specific repossession. However, if the repo man is acting out of line, it might stop him from trying to repossess your vehicle. It is unlawful for the repo men to “breach the peace.” As you might expect, breaching peace involves making threats and using force.
Some debtors try to provoke a breach of peace by physically confronting repo men. This may be a successful method of preventing a repossession, but it has ramifications both during and after the confrontation. We do not recommend that you take that route. However, if the repossession agent enters your home without your permission, threatens you, or uses physical aggression against you, you may be able to postpone or prevent future repossession attempts and even sue for damages.
Should I Surrender My Car Voluntarily in Oklahoma Instead of Having It Repossessed?
If you are not able to continue making payments on your vehicle, you may be able to surrender the car to the lender or the dealership where you purchased it. This is referred to as voluntary repossession.
Many lenders would ask you to sign paperwork saying you are returning the vehicle if you arrange a voluntary repossession. You are not obligated to do so, but it may save you money on repossession fees. This minimizes the deficiency balance or the money owed once the lender sells your vehicle.
What Will Happen to the Personal Property in My Vehicle?
If you are concerned about your vehicle being repossessed, do not leave behind any personal things in it. If you have items in your car when repossessed, you have only ten days to contact the creditor and demand that your things be returned to you. The creditor is required to return your items immediately.
If you do not contact the creditor after 30 days, your personal possessions will be regarded as abandoned, and the creditor will be under no obligation to care for them.
Can I File A Lawsuit For Wrongful Repossession?
The debtor may be able to file a lawsuit against the lender and the repo man, even if the debtors were late or didn’t pay their loan payments if they wrongfully repossessed a vehicle.
Talk To Our Oklahoma City Bankruptcy Attorney And Stop Repossession Immediately!
Don’t go through your money troubles alone! Reach out to us today or fill out our online contact form to find out which type of bankruptcy is ideal for you, how to file bankruptcy, what legal options you have to save your property and assets, and how to start living debt-free. Your first step toward financial freedom is to get a free evaluation of your case.
At Scott Harris Law, PLLC, we think the best way to tell if our bankruptcy lawyers can help you is to meet and talk about your case. Our Oklahoma City bankruptcy lawyers are happy to meet with you for free to answer your questions about finances and make you feel better. Reach out to us now!