Lancaster Repossession Lawyers
If you have fallen behind on your car loan, your immediate fear is no doubt that someone will show up in the middle of the night and repossess your vehicle on the lender’s behalf. This is a very real and justified concern. But you also have certain legal rights when it comes to repossession, including ways to actually get your car back.
An experienced Lancaster repossession lawyer can guide you through the process. Wadhwani & Shanfeld is a team of dedicated southern California debt relief attorneys who have helped thousands of clients in Los Angeles County deal with creditors in these kinds of adverse situations. We can review your situation and advise you of your options when it comes to fighting a repossession.
How Repossession Works in Southern California
If you lease or purchase a car with a title loan, that is considered a secured debt. The vehicle itself is the security. This means that under California law, the lender is entitled to repossess the vehicle without first obtaining a civil judgment in the event of a default. A “default” in this context means that you, as the borrower, have failed to meet the terms of your loan, such as missing payments or failing to purchase adequate auto insurance.
By law, the lender may repossess a vehicle from any publicly accessible place. This can include your own driveway if it is not gated or secured. A lender–or more accurately, their agent–cannot break into a locked building or secured area. But they are allowed to try and gain access through someone else. For example, if you live in an apartment building with a locked garage, the agent can access that area with permission from anyone else who is allowed to lawfully access that area. One thing that an agent cannot do is “breach the peace” to accomplish a repossession. This means the agent cannot threaten you, employ violence, or damage your personal property in order to repossess the car.
Once a repossession is completed, the lender must send you a notice about the seizure along with an inventory of any personal effects that were in the vehicle. In most cases, the lender must also give you an opportunity to recover your vehicle through reinstatement or redemption. A “reinstatement” means that you pay any past amounts due on your loan–including any applicable late fees and costs associated with the recollection–and then the loan resumes as normal. A “redemption” involves paying off the entire balance due on your loan plus charges, and you will then receive the car back with free and clear title.
If you do not opt for a reinstatement or redemption, the lender will likely auction the car off and use the proceeds to pay back your loan. You are still responsible for any “deficiency” or difference between what the lender receives at auction and what you owed on the loan.
Contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld Today
If a lender has repossessed your vehicle–or you fear a repossession is imminent–it is important to speak with a qualified attorney who can advise you of your rights. Our Lancaster repossession lawyers can help you determine if a lender has complied with the law and take legal action to defend your interests. Contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld today to schedule a consultation.