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You get from one place to another in your car. You drive to work to earn a livelihood, travel to the store to buy groceries for your family, and drive home at the end of a long day to relax and recharge. But for people crippled with debt, the fear of having their mode of transportation taken away is real. That’s because the vehicle serves as the collateral on your car loan. If you get behind, your creditor can take this property back to satisfy the debt. Often they’ll hire a repossession company to do this. So what is a repo company allowed to do? Can a repo man move another car to get to yours?
A loan or lease creditor may reclaim the property in Kentucky if a debtor falls behind on their payments. This is called repossession. But a repossession agent can’t breach the peace or damage other property to seize your automobile.
If your vehicle is taken, you are typically left paying for property you don’t have anymore. However, bankruptcy can stop repossessions. It helps halt the repossession, lets you keep the car, asks your creditor for new loan terms, or even relinquishes the vehicle.
The Louisville bankruptcy attorneys at O’Bryan Law Offices help people in Kentucky avoid car repossessions. Our caring legal team understands that you are going through a difficult time. We discuss your available options with you to make the best decision possible. To discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys, please call 502-400-4020 today.
Can Repo Man Come On Private Property?
Yes, a repossession agent can come onto your property. They cannot “breach the peace” or use force in repossessing the vehicle. An example of breaching the peace is entering a locked garage or cutting a lock to open a gate. However, a repo agent can walk onto your property to repossess your car. This includes an unlocked or open garage, behind your house, or less visible or accessible parts of your property.
Your vehicle does not have to be in plain sight. The repo man can walk onto your property and take a car parked behind your house or hidden in a less visible area of the property.
Repossession agents may watch your house or your relatives’ homes. They can follow you when you leave your home. Repossession happens after parking your car for just a few minutes. Most public property is accessible for repossession activity.
You can find more information about Kentucky’s repossession laws in the Kentucky Revised Statutes, Section 186.
Repossession Laws in Kentucky
Your loan agreement outlines the measures your finance company takes to reclaim property. This includes repossessing collateral without prior notice. But can a repo man move another car to get to yours?
Debtors have protection in these situations. Kentucky law says creditors cannot:
- Take a car using physical force or breach the peace
- Take a vehicle from an enclosed area without the property owner’s permission
- Sell the car without providing the debtor with advance notice
- Accept a lowball price when selling the repossessed vehicle
- Seize a vehicle that has no liens
Whether a repossession agent can move another car to get to yours depends on whether they breach the peace to do so. They also cannot damage the other vehicle.
Most lenders move fast to sell the car. You owe the difference if the sale price does not cover the total amount owed (including repossession costs and a storage facility).
In Kentucky, it is illegal to stop repo agents from repossessing a vehicle if a Writ of Possession is on file. If the creditor breaks the law while repossessing and selling your car, claiming damages is possible. You may also use this in any additional collection cases.
Is Your Car In Danger of Being Repossessed?
You are in danger of a car repo if you are late on your car payments. Bankruptcy’s automatic stay stops the repossession of your car. Creditors must stop repossession or harassing collection attempts. Read more about how to stop creditor harassment.
A bankruptcy filing triggers an automatic stay. This means creditors can’t contact you, foreclose on or repossess property, and move forward with a lawsuit. This is true no matter how many payments are late or the outstanding balance.
Speaking with a Louisville bankruptcy attorney and filing before a repossession helps save your car. The automatic stay only keeps a creditor from repossessing your automobile. It does not make them return a vehicle that’s already seized.
Negotiate With Your Loan Company
You need to stay ahead of a car repossession to keep your car. Once the repo man takes it, it is hard to get back.
To avoid repossession, contact your lender right away if you know you will be late. If they think you’ll make your payment a little late, your creditor may agree to a delay. Another option is requesting the lender add the car payment to the end of your loan period. Asking that your lender extend the length of the loan is another option. This reduces the monthly payment, but you will pay more in interest.
If you cannot pay due to your financial situation, seek the assistance of a Louisville bankruptcy lawyer. Be sure to do this before a repossession agent seizes your motor vehicle.
How Do Repo Companies Find Your Car?
Your lender tells the repo company where you live and work. Other information, like where you go to school or relatives’ addresses, is also shared. Nowadays, lease and purchase documents allow the creditor access to your vehicle’s electronic tracking device. If the car is parked in public or outside your locked garage, they take it. They may hotwire it, use a master key, or tow it away.
If you hide the vehicle, the repo men look for it. They search your neighborhood and other areas you go to often. You can lose your right to get the car back after a repossession if a court decides you acted in bad faith.
How To Stop Repo Man From Taking Your Car
You can stop the repo guy by filing for bankruptcy. But keep in mind that the automatic stay is not a long-term solution to halting a car repossession. Bankruptcy Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy offer pros and cons and different types of relief to debtors. Speak with a knowledgeable Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer to choose the best option for your financial situation.
Keeping the car or discharging any balance owed relies on the type of bankruptcy selected. Borrowers wanting to keep their vehicle typically file Chapter 13. Car owners get up to 5 years to pay off the car loan. Lower monthly payments are another benefit of the lengthened loan period. A reduced interest rate is frequently a benefit of filing bankruptcy, too.
What Happens If You Hide a Car from Repossession?
Can a repo man move another car to get yours? No, a repossession agent may not do that. But, if the repossession company can’t access your car because it is hidden, blocked, or locked up, your lender goes to court to get a replevin. Replevin is a court order compelling the collection of the vehicle.
Repossession and replevin are different processes. Your lender doesn’t have to let you know they’re coming to take the car if the court grants a replevin. However, the lender must let you know they’re pursuing replevin. You can dispute it at the hearing.
Letting a Car Get Repossessed
Surrendering the car and discharging the debt is possible if you don’t want to keep it. Please contact the lender and tell them you want to do this. If you ignore the situation, your total debt rises due to legal fees, late fees, and interest.
You owe it if the car auction sale doesn’t cover the entire balance. This leads to garnished wages and property liens to recoup this money.
If the debtor files in bankruptcy court and the debt discharges, personal liability for this debt goes away per bankruptcy law 11 U.S.C § 727.
How To Avoid and Deal With Car Repossession
Clients frequently ask can a repo man move another car to get to yours? The answer is maybe. However, they cannot breach the peace or damage the other vehicle in the process. In any case, a repo agent will watch your vehicle, and as soon as it is accessible, they will repossess your car.
It’s best to file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy before the repossession happens is your best bet. Creditors cannot pursue collection attempts and repossessions as soon as you file. This lets you stop wage garnishments, and the repo man gets sent on his way.
Cars, houses, and many other items are considered exempt in bankruptcy proceedings. Your specific situation determines whether your vehicle is exempt.
When filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to be current on your car payments. You should be able to keep your car if you are current. However, this may not be the case if the vehicle’s equity is more than the exempt amount.
Chapter 13 does not require you to be current on your missed payments. This type of bankruptcy allows you to make car loan payments for up to five years and renegotiate your loan terms.
But remember, avoid car repossession by filing right away. If your lender repossesses your automobile, bankruptcy can’t get it back.
Maintain a Good Credit Score
To build your credit up again after filing bankruptcy, you’ll need to follow some guidelines. These include always paying your loans on time. Get current if you are behind.
It’s best to keep your balances much lower than your total credit limit. You don’t want to use a lot of your available credit. Paying off the balance each month raises your score and keeps you from accruing interest.
The longer your credit history, the better. So don’t close accounts that you’ve had for a long time. It can negatively impact your score.
Don’t apply for credit unless you need it. Credits have a negative view of borrowers who apply for a lot of credit in a short amount of time.
And be sure to look over your credit report from time to time. Check for errors and contact the credit reporting agency to correct any you find. Monitor for suspicious activities and attempts at identity theft.
What Happens When a Car is Repoed in Kentucky?
Any personal property left in a vehicle when repossessed is still yours. It’s your right to retrieve it. After-market additions and upgrades to the car are your property. These may be returned or credited to the debtor. However, this depends on the type of upgrade and the sale contract terms.
Your lender must send you a notice of sale. And negotiating for the return of your car before the auction is your legal right. You may also attend the auction and repurchase the vehicle.
Paying the “redemption amount” for the vehicle is another option. Your lender must provide this figure to you in writing. This amount includes the repossession costs and the balance due on the loan.
You’ll pay a deficiency balance if the car auctions for less than you owe. This means you’ll still be paying for a car you no longer own.
Stop the Repossession of Your Vehicle Today
Take action if your car is in danger of repossession. Can a repo man move another vehicle to get to yours? There isn’t a clear answer to this question. It depends on the circumstances and whether the agent breaches the peace or damages the other car.
However, you can stop the repossession process by filing bankruptcy. If you wish to avoid repossession, you must act before the agent seizes the car.
At O’Bryan Law Offices, we understand this is a stressful financial situation. We ease your mind and help you file a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Our Louisville bankruptcy attorneys discuss your Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 options with you. We provide solutions to keep your vehicle while giving you a fresh financial start. Call 502-400-4020 today to schedule your free consultation.