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Can your car be reposssed from anywhere?

The repo team is coming to take your car. You know it, because you haven’t been able to make the payments. Can they just show up and grab it one morning, no matter where it is?

No. While they may have a legal right to repossess the car, there are still laws and regulations governing how it can be done. They’re not allowed to break these in the name of getting the vehicle back more quickly.

For instance, they absolutely can’t come into a private residence. That’s your personal space. Police can’t even come in without a warrant, in most cases, so the repo team certainly cannot.

Your garage is considered your private residence. So, if you park the car on the street in front of your home, they can take it. If you park in your own driveway, they can take it. If you park in the lot at work, they can take. But, if you put it in your garage and close the door, they’re not allowed to open the garage and repossess the vehicle.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean you can just hide your car forever. If it’s stuck in your garage, that’s no different than having it repossessed since you can’t drive it either way.

However, it’s crucial for people to know their rights when facing any type of asset repossession. Just because you’ve missed payments does not mean that the creditors can violate those rights and take advantage of you. Always make sure you know where you stand, what legal rights you have, and what financial options are still open to you.

Source: Complex, “Car Repossession 101: How To Avoid and Deal With the Repo Man,” Brenden Gallagher, accessed April 19, 2017

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