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Are You Still Hiding Your Car from the Repo Man?

If you have defaulted on your car loan, the lender has the right to repossess it provided he does not “breach the peace.” This can put you in a terrible bind if you rely on your car to get to work or to run errands for your household. Sure, you can keep your car in a locked garage, where the repo man can’t get at it. But if you park on the street, in your company’s employee parking lot, or in the lot of your local Kroger’s, the repo man can haul your ride away. The repo man can also enter upon your property to take a car that is plain view, either in the driveway or an open garage. These circumstances often drive debtors to take extreme steps to hold onto their vehicles.

Some debtors, after getting a written notice of repossession in the mail, start putting together a strategy for evading the repo man. They suspect he’s staked out their home and workplace, so they park on side streets blocks away from their destination to throw the repo man off their trail. These maneuvers may delay the inevitable for a short period, and they do infringe on the rights of the lender, but they are not going to get the debtor into additional trouble. However, some debtors do get carried away to the point of physically barring the repossessor from taking the car, giving him the choice of breaching the peace or leaving the scene. Such actions are highly problematic, and especially in this age of cell phone video, could result in civil and criminal liability for the debtor.

There is a better way to stop vehicle repossession. Debtors who file for bankruptcy get the protection of an automatic stay, a court order that prohibits creditors from attempting to collect from them directly. Bankruptcy filers are often able to hold onto their cars as an exemption, or by restructuring their debt under a court-approved repayment plan. Stop hiding from the repo man and assert your legal right to bankruptcy protection. An experienced bankruptcy attorney at DebtStoppers can show you how.

For a free consultation and case evaluation, call DebtStoppers at 404-796-7161 or contact our office online.

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