The simple answer is yes, your car can be repossessed on private property if it's out in the open. But, there are laws that protect you and your vehicle when it comes to repossession. Below we lay out the most common questions relating to your rights in the repossession process.
5 Common Repo Questions Answered
When you miss a car payment, the lender can take action by repossessing your vehicle. With that in mind, here are five common questions about the process:
Q: Can a repo man enter private property?
A: The repo man isn’t legally allowed to enter locked and secured private property – such as a garage – to take away your vehicle. But they can repossess your car, without a court order, if it’s sitting in your driveway, outside your home, or in a public space.
Q: Can police assist with repossession?
A: Unless the police are called during the act of repossession, they typically aren’t involved with the repossession process. Their role is to resolve any disputes between the repo man and the owner.
Q: Are you notified before your vehicle is repossessed?
A: Whether or not the lender has to notify you of a repossession varies by state. In most cases, when they don't have to notify you, they usually choose not to and simply move forward with the process. What they have to do is send you information after the repossession explaining the details of the sale of the car.
Q: Can your vehicle be repossessed from your driveway?
A: Yes, if it’s sitting in your driveway and no passengers are inside, they can repossess your car from your driveway.
Q: Is it illegal to hide a vehicle from repossession?
A: Yes, it’s illegal to purposely hide your car from a repossession. But if you routinely keep your vehicle inside your garage, it isn’t an illegal practice. But if the repo man forcefully takes your car out of your locked garage, you can pursue legal action because they’ve breached the peace.
The Bottom Line
It’s important you understand your rights during repossession. If you can, you should take the necessary steps to prevent a repo from happening by staying on top of your payments. If you know you're going to fall behind, or if something happens to you financially, discuss this with your lender as soon as possible. Most are more willing to work with you if you keep them in the loop.
If your vehicle was repossessed, and you need a new one, but don’t know where to turn, let Auto Credit Express help. We work with an extensive network of special finance dealerships across the country that are signed up with a wide range of lenders that know how to help bad credit borrowers. Get started today by simply filling out our online auto loan request form, and we'll get to work matching you with a local dealer!