We all depend on transportation to get us to work, run errands, and more. For most of us, that means having a dependable vehicle that can get us from point A to point B. Unfortunately, vehicle repossession is a real threat for many families.
If you wake up to discover that your vehicle has been repossessed, there are some steps you should take, according to a repossession lawyer in Ohio.
Know why your vehicle was repossessed
First, you have to know why your vehicle was repossessed. The most likely reason is that you defaulted on your loan. If you do not make timely payments, if you don’t make full payments, or if you’ve stopped making payments altogether, your creditor has the right to take your vehicle and recoup the losses it has incurred.
However, there are other reasons why your vehicle might be repossessed. For example, it may be a case of not stipulating the terms of vehicle insurance on the loan contract, or not making insurance payments. If there is any confusion as to why your vehicle was repossessed, you should definitely give your creditor a call.
Understand your rights
It’s easy to feel a bit helpless if your car is repossessed. Because it has been repossessed due to a breach of contract that was caused by you, you may feel like there isn’t anything you can do, but it is important to know that you still have rights.
Although your vehicle can be repossessed, the items inside cannot. If you left something in your car, you have every right to reclaim those items. However, alterations you made to the vehicle aren’t likely to apply. If you just installed a high-quality speaker system, it will most likely have to stay with the car.
Determine the best way to get your vehicle back
You will likely want to get your vehicle back after it has been repossessed, but there are a few different ways you can go about it.
If you have the money to pay off the loan and pay the repossession fees, that is definitely the best course of action. The key is speaking with your lender and buying it before it goes to auction, otherwise you’ll have to buy your own car back when it goes up on the auction block.
If you don’t have the money to buy it back, you can try and work out new payment terms with your lender. However, if you’re struggling financially, it’s a good idea to speak with a bankruptcy attorney. In some cases, you may discover that filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best course of action. It can allow you to regain possession of your vehicle while the terms of the loan are negotiated.
What to do if you allow your car to be sold at auction
If you can’t afford to purchase your vehicle in full, if your lender refuses to alter the terms of your loan, or if chapter 13 bankruptcy isn’t an option, you may have to allow your car to be sold at auction.
However, keep in mind that you may still owe your creditor money. For example, if you had $10,000 left on your loan, but the car only sold for $7,000, then you still owe $3,000.
With so many things to consider, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of a repossession lawyer in Ohio who can help you figure out the best course of action.