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Repossession Defense Lawyers
Your car is one of the most important assets you own. The loss of a vehicle could result in devastating financial consequences, severely impacting your ability to pay your bills and take care of your family. If you are behind on your car payments and are facing the possibility of a repossession, you should immediately contact a St. Petersburg repossession attorney at Boss Law. We are ready to review your financial situation and discuss your options for getting past this difficult situation.
Car Repossession Laws in Florida
When you lease or purchase a car, your creditor has the right to repossess the vehicle if you fall behind on payments – and they don’t require the permission of the court to do so. They do not even need to warn you in advance. While creditors hold most of the rights in vehicle repossession cases, consumers should know that they have some rights as well.
Consumers have the following rights:
Creditors are prohibited from committing a “breach of peace” in order to collect property. Although creditors have the legal authority to enter your property and seize your vehicle without prior notification, they are not legally allowed to use threats, force of threats, or breaking into a locked garage in order to take the vehicle. If this happens, you may be entitled to compensation.
You do have the right to voluntarily give up your vehicle in exchange for a reduction in creditor’s expenses in taking the vehicle, as well as a reduction in the amount you will owe the creditor.
Once your vehicle is repossessed due to auto default, your creditor is required to notify you about what will happen to your car. If the creditor decides to keep the vehicle, you have the right to demand that it be sold instead. You may wish to consider this option if your vehicle is worth more than the amount still owed on the loan. Furthermore, you may have recourse if the creditor attempts to sell the vehicle far below fair market value, or you may be able to buy the vehicle back by paying the full amount owed plus expenses.
If you are sued by your creditor for a deficiency judgment, you have the right to attend a hearing with a representative to raise a legal defense. If the creditor committed a “breach of peace” in seizing your vehicle, they might not have the right to collect a deficiency at all.
Will I Still Owe Money If My Car Is Repossessed?
If your vehicle is repossessed and the lender sells it off in an auction, but the sale does not cover what you owe the lender, you may still be liable for the remaining balance. This is called a deficiency balance. Filing for bankruptcy can help to eliminate deficiency balances from a repossession.
How Can I Prevent Repossession After a Missed Payment?
If you believe you may fall behind on a car payment, contact your creditor as soon as possible. There may be several options available that can help to prevent repossession: