What happens to my loan if my car is repossessed?
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UPDATED: Nov 18, 2011
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According to the Federal trade Commission (FTC), when you are in default, a creditor can repossess your car at any time, without notice. While most are given warnings and issued late fees when a borrower defaults on an auto loan, in most states creditors are permitted to legally repossess vehicles as soon as default occurs. If vehicle repossession occurs and the creditor decides to auction the car, borrowers are responsible for the difference in the amount of their loan and the amount the creditor received at auction.
For example, if your loan had $10,000 remaining, and your car was repossessed and auctioned for $7,000, then you would owe your creditor $3,000.
On the rare occasion that the creditor is awarded with more money at auction than your vehicle is worth, your creditor must pay you the surplus.
The repossessor that comes to your property to repossess your car must take care not to commit a “breach of the peace.” Depending on the state, a breach of the peace usually occurs when the repossessor uses physical force or threatens with physical force. If a breach of peace occurs, contact your attorney, as you can be awarded with compensation. You can also use the breach of peace as legal defense when it comes to paying the deficiency of the loan off.
Any and all personal property in the car at the time of repossession is still yours. The repossessor must not sell or keep any of those items. Depending on the state, the repossessor may be required to notify you of the contents and inform you on how and where you can retrieve them.