If you fail to make your car payments, repossession is nearly unavoidable. But just because your vehicle gets repossessed doesn't mean you have to give up the fight. You have options for getting your car back after a repossession in Seattle, and we can tell you what they are.
The Right to Redeem Your Car Loan
Redemption is the most universally available way to get your vehicle back after repossession. Even though redemption is offered in most states, it's usually not a realistic option, especially for people who have trouble making their monthly payments to begin with. This is because a redemption means paying your entire auto loan balance at once, including any repossession fees and additional charges.
Your lender is required to notify about your right to redeem your car in writing within five days of the repossession. If you're not notified by then, you should contact your lender for a payoff amount because redemption is only available for a limited time, usually between 10 and 15 days, although redemption rules vary by state law.
If you live in Seattle, have bad credit, and your vehicle's been repossessed, redemption may be one of your only options, but it might not be a wise one to take. Often, redeeming a loan ends up costing you a lot more than your car might be worth.
Reinstating Your Car Loan in Seattle
The reason redemption may be one of your only options in Seattle is that another option, reinstatement, isn't available in every state. Reinstatement is the process of getting your vehicle back by bringing your loan current.
To do this, you must make all past due payments, plus any additional late fees and repossession charges, in one lump sum. The only way you can reinstate your loan in the Emerald City is if it's built into your contract – Washington law doesn't allow reinstatement.
If reinstatement is built into your auto loan, your lender is required to send you a written notice of your right to reinstate. However, you should contact them as soon as possible after a repossession to find out the reinstatement amount. Just like redemption, reinstatement is only available for a short time – typically 15 days.
Buying Your Vehicle Back after a Repossession
Generally, lenders are required to let you know how, when, and where your car is going to be sold. If you're unable to redeem or reinstate your loan, you may be able to buy your vehicle back at auction.
Be careful doing this, though. Even if you're able to purchase the car for much less than redemption or reinstatement would've cost you, you're still responsible for paying the lender any balance due.
In fact, if the vehicle sells for less than what you owe, you're still responsible for the remaining amount – called a deficiency balance – owed to the lender no matter who buys it at auction.
You’re Not Out of Options
If you're a Seattleite who's recently suffered car repossession and none of the options above work for you, you're probably looking for another vehicle. If you’re looking for an auto loan after a repo, you're probably going to have to work with a subprime lender that's prepared to help credit-challenged people get the cars they need. However, in order to qualify for a loan with a repossession on your credit reports, you typically have to wait at least a year in order to get approved.
If enough time has passed and you need an auto loan, let us help! At Auto Credit Express, we have an extensive network of special finance dealerships all around Seattle, and the rest of the nation, that can help you get the car loan you've been looking for.
Our process is fast, free, and simple to begin. Just fill out our no-obligation auto loan request form, and we'll get to work matching you with a local dealer!