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Car Repossession and How to Avoid it

Car Repossession and How to Avoid it
Written by Eddie Wood

Get to know about car repossession and how to avoid it. When you fall behind with the your car loan payments, the lender has the right to repossess your vehicle.

Even without a court order, this can occur.

Repossession will not only leave you without a car; it will also have a long-term bad influence on your credit, making it difficult to qualify for another auto loan, credit cards, or a mortgage.

Read on to know the few ways to avoid having your car repossession and how to avoid it.

What is Car Repossession?

Repossession happens whenever a auto lender takes possession of your vehicle without prior notice or approval from the court.

The regulations governing vehicle repossession differ from state to state. Your vehicle purchase agreement should specify how and when your auto lender may repossess your vehicle.

Get to know more about car repossession and how to avoid it.

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How Does the Auto Repossession Procedure Work?

If you fall behind on your payments, your lender has the legal authority to repossess your vehicle.

Unless your state law requires differently, repossession requires no notice or warning. This implies that if you default, you could lose your car at any time.

If your vehicle is repossessed, your lender may provide you with information on the auction where your vehicle will be sold.

Otherwise, you may be able to restart your loan by catching up on the past-due amount and any repossession fines.

The information your lender is required to provide you, like all components of the repossession procedure, is state specific.

6 Strategies for Avoiding Repossession

If you are in default or are at risk of going into default, repossession is a genuine possibility.

To avoid it, you must maintain communication with your lender and restructure your finances.

1. Maintain Communication With Your Lender

Maintain your lender informed of your status, ability to make payments, and general financial situation.

Every interaction should be documented, including the name and title of each individual you speak with, and any letters should be sent by certified mail so that you have documentation of your efforts.

Lenders would rather have their customers pay off their car loans than have their vehicles repossessed.

Prepare to present documentation on your financial situation. And, if something changes, notify your lender immediately.

When discussing the possibility of repossession, it is important to be polite yet strong.

You want to avoid it at all costs, so continue to call the management line until you locate someone who can assist you with your debt.

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2. Make a Loan Modification Request

For the lender, repossession is also a substantial risk. It will have to charge off your loan, employ someone to recover the vehicle, park it somewhere, and finally auction it off.

As a result, it may be beneficial to request a lower payment from the lender.

To assist you to keep up with payments, your lender may be able to alter your loan to defer a few payments or rearrange the term.

Inform your lender about your situation and negotiate when and how you will be able to repay.

Lenders are not required by law to modify your loan, but it may save you both a lot of trouble in the event of repossession.

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3. Bring Your Loan up to Date

Make up your payments and costs with the lender if possible to reinstate your loan. This will halt the default process and is the most effective method of avoiding repossession.

It’s fine if you don’t have this choice. Most persons facing repossession are unable to bring their loans current.

There are various alternatives, such as selling your car, but they may place a new pressure on your life.

4. Sell the Vehicle

If the monthly payment on your auto loan is too high, you can sell it privately or trade it in at a dealership.

You could switch to a more economical ride if you’re not upside down on your loan – when you owe more than it’s worth.

Ascertain that the proceeds from the sale of your vehicle will cover the balance of your loan as well as any fees you owe.

If you can’t, it’s advisable to haggle with your lender to see if you can deduct the costs.

Most significantly, selling your automobile may not leave you with just enough money for a down payment on another vehicle.

You will be without transportation if you choose repossession, surrender the car, or selling.

Selling your car preserves your credit, but it may place you in a position similar to foreclosure.

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5. Refinance Your Mortgage

An auto loan can be made more affordable by extending the loan term or lowering the interest rate.

Unfortunately, if you have missed many payments or are in default, you are unlikely to be able to refinance.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t attempt. Credit unions, online lenders, and a few small local banks have more lenient restrictions.

Keep in mind that asking for financing can have an impact on your credit score, so apply for a few loans at once to avoid consecutive attacks.

Users may not be able to reduce your interest rate, but you may be able to prolong the term of your loan.

This can help to make your monthly payments more manageable. However, it does imply that you will pay higher interest altogether.

It may be worth the greater cost to avoid repossession, but only after all other options have been exhausted.

6. Give up Your Car


When you are unable to pay, you have the option of voluntarily surrendering your vehicle to your lender.

You will no longer have access to it and will need to explore alternative transportation, but it will not be considered a repossession – though your credit score will still suffer.

If you do, your lender will go through a process comparable to repossession.

It will collect and auction off your automobile. If the sale price covers what you owe, you’re done.

If you do not, you will be responsible for the outstanding loan balance as well as any costs that have accrued.

About the author

Eddie Wood

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