There are plenty of law-abiding people working in the repossession business — and there are also quite a few who act like every repossession is a game they’re determined to win. Some of those repo agents are definitely not above breaching the peace to get at your car.
But, what does “breaching the peace” generally mean? Here are some examples of how repossession agents can go too far:
1. The repossession agent broke into your property
If your car is sitting inside your locked garage and the repossession agent breaks the lock to obtain access, that’s generally considered a breach of the peace. Repossession rights don’t give anyone the right to break into another person’s private property.
2. The repossession agent threatened you with jail
Repossession agents are not law enforcement officers. They don’t have the authority to order your arrest — and unpaid debts are usually a civil issue, not a criminal one. (Be aware of the fact that some repo agents will ask a police officer to accompany them to a repossession under the pretext of keeping things civil. More than likely, however, they’re hoping the sight of a police officer will scare you into turning over your keys.)
3. You were verbally or physically threatened with violence
A confrontation with an overly aggressive repossession agent can leave you shaken and scared — especially if that confrontation seemed about to abruptly turn violent. No matter how frustrated the agent may be at you, that doesn’t justify verbal threats of harm or a raised fist.
4. You were run off the road
Some repossession agents seem to think that “anything goes” when it comes time to claim a vehicle. However, running you off the road or forcing you into a ditch puts you in actual danger and is considered a breach of the peace.
If you suspect that the repossession agent who took your car breached the peace, you may be the victim of wrongful repossession. Contact our office to learn more about how we might be able to help.