Was Your Car Repossessed? It May Not Have Been Taken From You Legally
You relied on your car for your daily activities—getting the kids to school, buying dinner ingredients at the grocery store, driving to work—and now it's gone.
If your car has been repossessed, you may be a bit embarrassed, but do not automatically assume that it was entirely your fault. There are several California laws that must be followed when a car is repossessed. Many times, repossession agents and finance companies take over your property illegally.
If you think that your car or truck has been unlawfully repossessed in the Los Angeles area, you may be able to get it back, in addition to extra compensation for the trouble. Contact the Law Office of Paul Mankin in Beverly Hills to speak with us about your situation in a completely free initial consultation.
How to Know If Your Vehicle Was Unlawfully Repossessed in California
Every case is different, but there are some immediate red flags that signify that repossession was probably illegal. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? If so, you may be entitled to compensation:
Your vehicle was repossessed even though you were current on your payments. Some creditors will unlawfully repossess a vehicle even if your payments are up-to-date. This is not legal and you should be entitled to damages and the return of your vehicle.
After reviewing your finance contract and title, you've noticed a mistake. Errors in either of these documents could make the repossession unlawful.
The repossession agent acted inappropriately. Repossession agents must not breach the peace when taking a vehicle. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, a breach of the peace violation entitles you to damages in the amount of 10 percent of the vehicle's value and all of the finance charges paid on the account. Examples of breaching the peace would be:
- Threatening you or your family with physical violence or arrest during the repossession
- Touching or harming anyone
- Repossessing the vehicle after you have instructed them not to
- Entering a closed or locked garage
- Breaking any lock or gate
- Having the police present, unless the finance company has a judgment against you
- Entering your home
Even if the repossession was legal, California law still says you have the right to redeem the vehicle contract. Additionally, you may have the right to reinstate the contract. Redeeming the contract means that you pay off the entire amount due on the contract before your car is sold at auction. Reinstating the vehicle contract means that you pay the amount required to bring the finance contract current and the reasonable repossession expenses. If the lender denies you either of these rights, you may have a legal claim against the finance company.
Contact a Los Angeles Auto Repossession Attorney
Having your car repossessed in a city where driving is almost a necessity can be extremely overwhelming and upsetting. An experienced California car repossession lawyer can be a crucial ally in those circumstances. If you suspect that your vehicle was unlawfully repossessed, let the Law Office of Paul Mankin do something about it. Call us today at 1-800-219-3577 for a free consultation.