Repossession Attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Repossession of Your Vehicle
If you find yourself behind on your car payment, your first step may be to contact the lender and see if they would be willing to work with you by allowing you to catch up the payments. However, the lender is not required to work with you, and even if they do agree to work with you, it is not unheard of for lenders to disregard agreements that are not provided in writing and repossess your vehicle, anyway.
What Is Repossession?
Repossession is the legal action that a lender takes when you have fallen behind on your vehicle payments. The laws of the State of Louisiana give lenders specific rights when it comes to taking vehicles. Lenders can repossess your vehicle without your consent, so long as they do not “disturb the peace” in the process. Depending on who your lender is, once you have fallen behind on your vehicle payments, the lender can take the car at any time.
What Are My Options to Prevent or Reverse a Repossession?
The last thing you want to do is wake up one morning to leave for work and find that your vehicle is not sitting in the driveway where you parked it the night before. If your vehicle has been repossessed there are a few options, you have:
File a chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop a repossession or get the vehicle back: the filing of a chapter 13 bankruptcy requires that the lender stop any action to recover the vehicle. If the lender has already taken the vehicle, but has not been sold yet, you can typically force the lender will return the vehicle. Once the vehicle is back in your possession, you will pay off the balance of the vehicle through your chapter 13 bankruptcy. Often, in the bankruptcy, you can lower your interest rate, or even pay back a significantly reduced balance.
Pay the full amount necessary to catch up: This will need to be done relatively quickly as the lender will usually hold the vehicle for 21-days until the vehicle is auctioned off. Once the vehicle is auctioned off, if the lender doesn’t get enough to cover the outstanding balance on the vehicle, they will send you a letter requiring that you pay the outstanding balance, often called a deficiency. If you do not pay the balance soon enough, they will file a lawsuit against you to collect the balance.
Let the lender keep the vehicle: The same as above, if you take no action and the lender does not get enough in the auction to cover the outstanding balance, they will demand you pay the balance, and if you don’t they will file a lawsuit to collect the balance from you.
Experience in These Situations Matters
Hoke Law Firm and Robert W. Hoke have helped hundreds of people stop a repossession and get their vehicle back from the lender. Through our extensive experience we will assist you in getting your vehicle back and getting you back current on your payments. We are here to assist in answering your questions before getting started.