What should you know about vehicle repossessions?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Wrongful Repossession

Many people need a vehicle to get around, especially when public transport is lacking in their area. Unfortunately, buying one is expensive and usually requires taking out a vehicle loan.

Most people enter a vehicle loan with the ability to make require payments; however, their circumstances may change over time. Once payments are missed, the loan company may decide to repossess the vehicle. Anyone in Minnesota with a vehicle with a loan open should understand the basics of repossession, accordingly.

Legal grounds for vehicle repossession in Minnesota

According to state laws, a lender can repossess a vehicle without prior notice when the borrower defaults on the loan. This typically occurs when the borrower fails to make the agreed-upon payments on time. It can also happen if the borrower doesn’t comply with the terms of the loan, such as failing to maintain adequate insurance on the vehicle.

The repossession process

The repossession process can be done through self-help or a court order. Self-help repossession means that the lender can take back the vehicle without involving the courts as long as they don’t breach the peace during the process. Breaching the peace could include using physical force, threats of force or removing a vehicle from a closed garage without the borrower’s permission.

If a lender prefers to proceed through legal channels to repossess a vehicle, they may file a lawsuit to obtain a court order for repossession. This method is less common due to the time and expense involved, but it may be necessary if there is a high risk of breaching the peace during the repossession.

Rights of borrowers in the repossession process

Borrowers have rights during the repossession process. Anyone who finds out that their vehicle is subject to repossession should ensure they seek legal assistance to determine what options they have at each step along the way. This may help them decide whether or not they can get the vehicle back or prevent the repossession altogether. If a repossession occurs illegally, legal representation can help them determine their options to handle the situation as well.

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