What constitutes a wrongful vehicle repossession?

If you take out a car loan, or if you use your car as collateral on a credit facility, you risk having your car repossessed if you do not make your payments in time. But as with any industry, it is not uncommon to have a few bad apples in the credit industry. Acquainting yourself with Minnesota consumer protection laws can help you protect your rights when caught up in the middle of an illegal repossession. 

Basically, repossession is deemed when the creditor does not have the legal right to repossess your vehicle or when they execute the repossession in a manner that does not follow the law. But how exactly does this happen?

Here are two ways a creditor may illegally repossess your car

When they use force

It is not uncommon for the repossession agency to attempt to recover the vehicle while no one is present – like when the consumer is away at work or asleep. Sometimes, the agent may threaten or use actual force to gain control of the vehicle. Drawing a weapon during the repossession exercise or use of actual force can make the entire exercise unlawful. 

When there is a breach of peace

A lender has the right to repossess the vehicle if the consumer fails to honor their end of the bargain. However, they cannot break the law while doing so. Basically, this means that they may not create a disturbance and “breach peace” during the repossession exercise. 

If you believe the repo agent broke the law while repossessing your vehicle, you have options. Subject to the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of your vehicle as well as other consumer protection damages. 

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