For most people, vehicles are essential to their livelihoods. You use your car to get to work, run errands, take your children to school or activities, and for all of the million and one things that make up your daily life. Losing your vehicle can make all of these things difficult.
If you are leasing or buying a vehicle on credit—in other words, any time you do anything besides pay the full cash price for a vehicle—your lessor or creditor has an ownership interest in your vehicle that ends only when you have completely paid off your lease or loan. If you fail to make timely payments, your creditor may have the right to repossess your vehicle. That means your creditor can come on your property without your permission and take your car from you without going to court or warning you in advance. If you receive a warning letter from your creditor that your vehicle may be subject to repossession, you must take it seriously and take steps to protect yourself from repossession.
What Is Repossession?
In most states, if you default on your loan or lease—as default is defined in that contract—your creditor can immediately take possession of your vehicle, or “repossess” it. This can happen at any time once you default with no notice. If you receive advance notice, you must be aware that the situation is serious and you must deal with it immediately.
What Should I Do When I Receive a Repossession Notice?
First, be thankful—your lender does not have to send a repossession notice. Then, review the terms of default under your creditor’s contract and know when your loan or lease agreement deems you to be in default. Usually, this involves missing payments—depending upon the contract, it could be as little as being a month late. Usually, being three payments late is sufficient to trigger repossession in any state. Know your contract, though, and take steps before you are in default and subject to repossession. you have received a notice of repossession, you should contact your lender or lessor. If possible, you should try to reach an agreement with your lender or lessor that will keep your loan from going into default. Dealing with lenders can be difficult, however, and having an experienced attorney make the call for you can be beneficial in many situations.
In addition, if you foresee difficulty making payments, you can have a lawyer contact your lender or lessor before you actually miss a payment. That is the best time to negotiate a way to keep the account current and avoid repossession. Most creditors will willingly accept reasonable proposals to repay loans or leases. Most repossessions involve cars or trucks, which generally are no longer worth the amount of money owed on the vehicles. Creditors usually would much rather find a way for you to pay what is owed, even under more lenient terms, than to find themselves in possession of a depreciating asset.
If you cannot reach an agreement, however, it might be in your best interest to bring in a professional to assist you.
If You Are Facing Repossession in Salt Lake City, Call Jory L. Trease of JLT Law to Discuss Your Options
If you have received a repossession notice in Salt Lake City or believe one of your assets is in danger of repossession, you need to understand your options. Take advantage of a free case evaluation to determine if an attorney can help you to keep your vehicle. Jory L. Trease can help, and you can contact our office at (801) 896-9444 or through our online contact form.