Repossession is the process in which the creditor reclaims the property from the debtor when they have failed to keep up with their payments, or otherwise break the contract.
When a vehicle is purchased on credit, the creditor retains connected rights to the property until the final payment towards the amount owed has been paid. This is referred to as “security interest,” and the extent of the creditor’s security interest is determined by the contract the debtor signed with the creditor, as well as state laws.
Repossession is a form of reclamation and is most utilized in conjunction with automobile loans. If the debtor defaults on their loan, generally meaning that they are behind on their payments, the creditor can legally repossess the property outlined in the loan agreement.
What If My Car Is Wrongfully Repossessed?
Wrongful repossession can happen. If your car has been wrongfully repossessed, having a copy of your loan agreement, documentation of your payment history and proof that the creditor repossessed the property is key.
Your loan agreement will provide the answer as to whether the creditor had a security interest in the property and the circumstances under which the property could be repossessed. Your payment history will indicate whether you were in default on the loan. Together, this information will determine whether the creditor had the legal right to repossess your property. If the creditor did not have the right to repossess the property but did so anyway then a wrongful repossession likely occurred.
What to do if You’ve Been the Victim of a Wrongful Repossession?
If you have been the victim of a wrongful repossession, then you may have the right to sue for damages. Your potential damages depend on the specific circumstances of your case. A wrongful repossession may prevent a creditor from recovering a deficiency judgment against you for the difference between the money that was owed to the creditor and the value of the collateral that was repossessed.
Additionally, you may be able to receive statutory damages for the act of wrongful repossession, property damages if your property was harmed during the repossession, and consequential damages if the repossession hurt your credit rating or impacted your ability to keep your job. For these reasons, it is important to understand when a wrongful repossession has occurred and take the necessary steps to protect your rights.
Representation for Wrongful Repossessions
Losing your vehicle to repossession can be frightening and stressful. Sadly, wrongful repossession is a problem that consumers throughout North Carolina routinely face. Without a vehicle, you may find it difficult to get to work, school, or to run basic errands for your family.
Dealing with creditors and repossession companies can be intimidating, which is why, if you believe you may have been victim of wrongful repossession, you should contact the consumer rights attorneys at Maginnis Law as soon as possible. You can reach our firm by phone at 919.526.0450 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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