When you take out an auto loan, it is not uncommon to put your vehicle up as collateral. If you fall behind on your payments and default on the loan then your lender may have the right to repossess your vehicle. However, your lender still has to abide by certain laws and regulations when repossessing a vehicle, otherwise your vehicle may become wrongfully repossessed and you may be able to file a claim against the lender. Below is a brief look at what counts as wrongful repossession in Pennsylvania.
The lender had no right to repossess
Of course, if you have not defaulted on your loan then chances are the lender had no right to actually repossess your vehicle. Your loan agreement will state under what terms your vehicle can be repossessed. If you have abided by those terms but the lender has still repossessed your car then you may be the victim of wrongful repossession. Contact an attorney immediately if you believe this to be the case.
The lender broke the law when repossessing
Even if your lender has the right to repossess your car, that lender cannot break the law while attempting to repossess your vehicle. For example, if your vehicle was stored in your garage, the creditor cannot break into that garage in order to repossess your vehicle. In such a situation, the repo person may be guilty of breaking and entering and/or trespassing. Similarly, if the loan agreement itself includes terms that are illegal and/or fraudulent then using that agreement to repossess your vehicle may likewise be illegal.
Failed to follow proper procedures
While the creditor does not have to provide notice that it intends to repossess your vehicle, it must still abide by the relevant state rules and regulations governing repossession. Under Pennsylvania law, if your vehicle has been repossessed then you must be provided with a notice detailing the procedure for retrieving your vehicle. In many cases, retrieving your vehicle will require that you pay your outstanding balance as well as towing fees. If the repossession company fails to provide this notice or they violate proper repossession procedures in any other way then you may find yourself the victim of wrongful repossession.
Hiring an attorney
Losing your vehicle to repossession can be frightening and stressful. Sadly, wrongful repossession is a problem that consumers throughout Pennsylvania 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 Weisberg Law today. Our attorneys are experienced in handling cases of auto fraud and wrongful repossession and they will work diligently to help your uphold your rights and hopefully get you your car back quickly.