How To Get A Repossessed Car Back

Getting your car repossessed is one of the most frustrating things to deal with as a driver. This typically happens when you default on your loan and stop making the payments. Once your car is repossessed, the lender will typically sell it at auction to recoup their money.

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While it can be a tedious process, it’s possible to get your vehicle back after a repossession. Just remember that you must act quickly. In this article, we’ll explain how you can get your car back after a repossession so you don’t lose the car you love or need.

Pay off the Car

The simplest way to get your repossessed vehicle back is to pay off the outstanding balance. That means paying off the entire car loan balance in full, in addition to collection and car repossession costs, such as the labor and tow truck charges. Most lenders also have late fees you must pay. Once you complete these steps, the vehicle will be returned to you and you’ll own it outright, eliminating the possibility of car repossession in the future.

Reinstate the Loan

Car repossession happens when you default on the loan, so you can get the car back by reinstating the loan. That means you’ll catch up on your loan payments, so you no longer have an outstanding balance. However, this also requires covering any late fees and repossession costs.

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Buy the Car at Auction

If you fail to act promptly, your lender will put the car up for auction to recoup its losses. You are allowed to bid on your own vehicle just like everyone else can when the lender sells it, and if you win, you get the car back.

Depending on where you live, your lender might be legally required to tell you what they plan to do with your repossessed vehicle. With this information, you’ll know where and when the auction is taking place. This is true whether the lender sells it at a public auction or in a private sale. You’re free to make an offer on it either way.

Can I Get My Personal Items Back?

It’s normal for people to store personal items in their vehicles, but repo companies don’t wait for you to clear them out before taking your vehicle. You can get your personal property back, but you’ll have to jump through a few hurdles first. Here’s how you can retrieve the personal belongings that were in your car at the time of repossession.

Check the Local Laws

Before you reach out to the repossession company, learn about the state laws around reclaiming items from a repossession company. It’s not uncommon for these repossession companies to charge “storage fees” before they’ll allow you to get your personal property back. In some cases, this is illegal, so make sure they’re abiding by your state’s regulations.

Make a List

Make a detailed list of the items in your vehicle that you expect to get back. While it doesn’t have to cover everything, make sure to detail the most important items and include their monetary value. When it’s time to pick up your items, you’ll need to reference this list to ensure everything is still there.

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Schedule an Appointment

When you’re ready to get your stuff back, contact the repossession company and schedule an appointment to do so. Meeting them for this appointment will allow you to go through your vehicle and grab everything that’s your property and not considered part of the vehicle. Check the items for damage, as well.

Note Any Damage

If any of your items have sustained damage, it’s on the repossession company to cover the cost of it. In addition to items inside the vehicle, this includes property damage that occurred during the repossession process. For example, if the repo agent damaged your mailbox or garage door in the process of taking your vehicle, they are responsible for the cost of repairs.

Preventing Repossession

The easiest way to deal with repossession is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Being proactive is the best way to keep your vehicle firmly in your possession and avoid hurting your credit.

If you’re having trouble making your loan payments, reach out to your lender to see what kind of options they’re willing to offer. Sometimes, lenders will give you a relief period to get your finances in order before having to make a car payment again. They might even modify your loan terms and put you on a new payment plan to better suit your current financial situation.