The very best way to handle vehicle repossession is to avoid it altogether. Ideally, as soon as you realize that you can't afford your car payment, you should contact the lender. You may be able to work out a revised payment plan that will allow you to keep the vehicle. Or, if you find out that you have equity in the car, you might be able to sell it and pay off the loan balance.
If, however, you know that it's too late for negotiation and repo is inevitable, there are things that you should and should not do. Dealing with repossession is never easy, but taking certain actions can make it harder than it has to be.
Basic Do's and Don'ts of Car Repossession
It's tough to stay level-headed before, during and after repossession. But the actions that you take (or fail to take) can make an impact on your ability to recover from the event. So, try to stay calm and do your best to make rational choices.
Don't Try to Hide Your Vehicle
Locking the car in a garage, changing addresses or parking the vehicle in a friend's garage won't allow you to avoid the repo agent forever. Typically, lenders outsource repossession to trained professionals who know what they're doing. Whatever trick you think you have up your sleeve, they've probably seen it before. Besides, the harder the repo company has to work to recover the car, the more they'll charge the lender. And this inflated fee will eventually be passed on to you.
Do Remove Your Property from the Car
If you known that a repo might happen any day, make sure that none of your personal belongings are inside the car. The lender has no rights to any of your property except for the vehicle. But reclaiming items removed along with the car can involve a lengthy process. So, make it easier on yourself and take your stuff out now. Just don't be tempted to keep items that came with the vehicle. If parts are missing, you will be charged for them later.
Don't Attempt to Damage the Vehicle
It's easy to get angry when you know that your vehicle is about to be repo'd. You may, in fact, want to "get back" at the lender by destroying parts of the car. But you should definitely resist the urge to do this. Any damage that is inflicted on the vehicle will lower its value at auction. And this could be bad because you'll most likely be on the hook for the difference between the car's selling price and the balance of your loan (the loan deficiency).
Do Think Twice Before Opting for Voluntary Surrender
If they know that they're going to lose their car to repo, some consumers opt for a voluntary surrender. This typically removes much of the hassle and potential embarrassment that can come with repossession. In addition, there will be no repo fees to pay. However, the damage to your credit will be just as severe, and, if there is one, you will still have to pay off any loan deficiency. Before surrendering your car, you should look at every available option, including bankruptcy.
Auto Financing Options after Repossession
If your credit has been damaged by a past repossession, Auto Credit Express can help you get financed for your next car purchase. In fact, if you have bad credit for any reason, we can make the vehicle buying process easier. How?
We can match you with a local dealership that can work with unique credit situations. This is a no-cost, obligation-free service that we provide because we believe that everyone deserves a second chance. Get yours today by filling out our simple and secure auto loan request.