California Repossession Laws Govern What Can Be Taken Away
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Repossession of vehicles occurs when payments aren’t made
If you fall behind on a car loan, the lender can contract with a licensed repossession agency to seize the property, or “collateral.” A repossession agent must be registered with the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. In addition, employees of banks, auto dealerships, financial lenders or other legal owners can recover property when payments are not made. Property can include cars, boats, motorcycles or recreational vehicles (RVs). When you signed a contract for a secured loan to buy this property, you agreed to make payments and meet other terms of the contract, such as insuring it. Terms may include the seller’s right to repossess the property if you fall behind on payments.
Repossession can happen after the first day of a missed payment
By California law, the legal owner can take possession of your property at any time after the first day you miss a payment, depending on the terms and conditions of your contract. The repossession agency doesn’t have to notify you in advance.
Notification is required after repossession
The repossession agency has to notify you by mail or in person within 48 hours of seizing your collateral. If a holiday or weekend falls within those 48 hours, the agency has 72 hours to notify you. The agency also must notify the police or sheriff’s office within one hour after repossession.
Claim your personal effects in a timely manner
If you are there when the agency takes possession of your car or other property, you can remove your personal belongings that do not endanger health or life. The repossession agency can also remove them and give them to you. But if you are not there when repossession occurs, the repossession agency has to prepare an inventory of personal effects and store them for at least 60 days. The longer you wait to claim your belongings, the more substantial the storage fee may be. Fees are typically charged on a daily basis.
Declaring bankruptcy can be a viable way to avoid repossession
If you are falling behind on your motor vehicle or boat payments, it’s in your best interests to learn about your financial options to avoid repossession. Our bankruptcy attorneys show you how the automatic stay helps when you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Learn how you can prevent repossession of your car or other property
Invictus Law, P.C. helps you hold on to your property when you are threatened by repossession. We have offices conveniently located in Santa Ana and Ontario, California to serve you. Call us anytime at (949) 287-5711 or use our online contact form to schedule your free initial consultation.