A creditor holds possession of your financed motor vehicle's title until your loan is repaid in full. If you default on the loan, the creditor can legally take possession of the vehicle.
Your vehicle can be repossessed if you miss only one payment. Failure to follow other stipulations in your contract can also be grounds for repossession.
If you default on your loan, the creditor can repossess your vehicle without obtaining a court notice. However, the creditor is not allowed to use any force to seize the vehicle.
To collect repossession fees, a creditor is required to issue a discretionary notice at least 10 days prior to repossessing the vehicle. All signers on the loan need to be served by certified or registered mail. If the creditor fails to do this, you are absolved of the responsibility for repossession fees.
Right to Redeem
Within five days of repossession, the creditor must send you a required notice by certified or registered mail, informing you of your right to redeem the vehicle, the amount needed to pay off and take possession of it, and the vehicle's location. You have 15 days to pay the loan balance and take ownership.
If you decide not to redeem the vehicle, the creditor can sell it. The creditor is allowed to take legal action against you to pay any deficit between the sales price and your outstanding loan balance.
Kerry O'Donnell has been writing professionally since 2008, when she began freelancing for the online magazine NewEnglandFilm.com. She later became the website's associate editor. She also serves as an associate editor of books for The Independent online magazine. O'Donnell holds an associate degree in criminal justice.