The “repo man” isn’t allowed to breach the peace and take your car by force. Therefore, you could hide your vehicle from them. However, if you don’t have a locked garage, and your car sits in the driveway, they’re allowed to enter your private property and take it. If you try and hide your vehicle from the repossession company, it may work for a short time. Eventually, though, your creditor is going to step in and take further action.
How the Repo Man Can Get Your Car
If you purposely hide your car to avoid repossession, and the repo man can’t get to it without using force, your creditor may ask for legal assistance.
What they can do is request an order of replevin or a monetary judgment against you. Replevins are a type of lawsuit, according to legal experts at Nolo.com, where a creditor gets an order from the court requiring you to give up the vehicle. Monetary judgments are determined by how much you owe on the auto loan, plus any extra fees.
You’re entitled to a written notice of your creditor’s intent to obtain an order of replevin. You’re also given a chance for a hearing, with written notice of location, date, and time of it, as well as the right to dispute.
The laws of state are different, and the time you’re given to respond to the complaint and request a hearing varies. Make sure you look up your state’s laws about replevin, and ask a lawyer for further advice.
Replevin is a legal action taken against you, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you don’t comply and refuse to turn the car over to the repossession company, you could be faced with civil and/or criminal penalties.
Can You Prevent a Repossession from Happening?
If you’re worried about your vehicle being repossessed, you may be able to stop it from occurring. How? By talking to your lender.
Let them know what’s going on, that you’re worried about missing a payment, and ask if they can help. Some lenders are willing to let you skip a payment and move it to the next month or the end of the loan term.
Another option your lender may suggest is to refinance the loan. When you refinance, you’re replacing your current loan with a new, hopefully better, loan. The main goal of refinancing is to lower the monthly payment, and you can do this by either qualifying for a better interest rate, or extending the loan term.
However, to qualify to refinance, you must have had the loan for at least a year, and your credit score must have improved since taking it out. In some cases, a lender may approve you for refinancing if your credit score hasn’t improved much, although this isn’t always possible.
Auto Credit Express Tip: If refinancing could help you prevent a repo, make sure you rate shop and find the best deal. You could refinance with your current lender, but you should have at least one other offer to compare it to.
Even if your lender explains that they can’t help, they’re going to appreciate the fact that you reached out to them ahead of time. Just like you, lenders don’t want to go through the repossession process, either. Even if your car does end up getting repossessed, you’re on much better terms with them because you tried to prevent it.
The Bottom Line
It is possible to try to hide your vehicle from the repo man, but it’s not the best way to go about dealing with repossession. It’s important you talk to your lender before you’re faced with a repo to see if they can help you prevent it.
If they can’t, and your car is scheduled for repossession, it’s best to surrender it and let the recovery company take your vehicle – it’s easier than being faced with legal action down the road.
If you lost a car due to repossession, your credit score was affected, and you need a new vehicle, we want to help. At Auto Credit Express, we work with a nationwide network of special finance dealers that have lenders available to work with people who’ve experienced repossession or are dealing with another unique credit situation. Simply fill out our free and easy auto loan request form to get started today.