You’re understandably attached to your car, and the thought of having it taken away can be almost unbearable. So can’t you just hide it and avoid the entire car repossession process? How long will a repo man look for a car that’s up for repossession?
If you’ve made it impossible for the repo man to get to your car, you’ve broken the law and the terms of your contract. This will cost you more money down the road. Below, we discuss what you need to know about hiding your car to avoid repossession and why it’s better to explore other options.
You’re Facing an Uphill Battle
It’s important to keep in mind that the repo man will likely not give up on repossessing your car. We’re talking about a trained professional whose livelihood depends on getting their hands on your vehicle. So they are not going to be easy to avoid.
A repo man can seize the vehicle in any place where the car is out in the open. This includes your property, even your driveway. Of course, they’re not allowed to use force, open a locked garage, or otherwise “breach the peace” — but you can bet they will be persistent.
How Long Will a Repo Man Look for a Car?
The repo man is paid by your creditor to go out looking for your car. When they find it, they’re directed to return it to the lot from which you bought it. They get paid by the trip — meaning the longer it takes them, the more money they make. So the repo man has no incentive to stop searching for your car.
On the other hand, there is a cost incurred by your lender to send the repo man out. Who do you think is going to pay that cost? If you guessed yourself, then you guessed right. The amount of money and time it took to repossess your vehicle will be tacked on to your balance when they sell the car.
The amount the creditor makes from the sale of your car is put toward your outstanding balance on the loan plus costs associated with selling and repossessing the car. So every time the lender has to send a repo man to try to find your car, you could be increasing the amount of money you owe. And if you acted in bad faith and hid the car illegally, the court may be less willing to listen to your arguments concerning lender malfeasance.
Repo Men Know Every Trick in the Book
Repo men have seen just about every trick consumers have tried to keep their car from being repossessed. So they may stake out your house for extended periods of time, survey the streets around your neighborhood, and even follow you when you go to the mall or grocery store. Since any public space is fair game, you may walk about of the store and find that your car is gone.
After the repo man has taken your car, they will present the lender for a bill delineating the costs associated with the repossession. The lender will pass that bill onto you and they are legally allowed to do so.
Hiding Your Car Is a Temporary Fix at Best
Trying to hid your car from the repo man is a kind of fraud. You agreed that not to do that when you signed the contract. So hiding your car means you went back on your word, and you can face both criminal and civil penalties for having done so.
The law punishes this type of deception with fines. So, while you thought you were trying to save your car, you now owe more money than you did before.
Prevent a Car Repossession Before It Happens
The lender can initiate a repossession without notice after you’ve missed one payment. Generally, they don’t want to because that opens them up to risk. On the other hand, because the repossession tactic is so successful, certain dealerships actually bank on and hope that you will default on your loan, since they can then collect all the money you’ve already paid and turn around and sell the car. At some lots, they look for those with poor credit, wait for them to default on the loan, and then put the car back up for sale. They can do this over and over and you’re still on the hook for the delinquent balance.
The first thing that you should do if you’re concerned about repossession is to read your loan contract. In it, you will find the details that you agreed to prior to driving the car off the lot. If you think you might come up short this month, give your lender a call, explain the situation, and give them a date by which you expect to have the money in full.
Despite this, some lenders will play hardball and declare your loan in default regardless of whether or not you call them or can make good on the payments next month.
Speak to a Dallas TX Repossession Lawyer
So how long will a repo man look for a car? The answer is simple — until they find it. Therefore, rather than hiding your car, it’s probably a better idea to look for different solutions to stopping repossession.
If you want to keep your car and are in financial trouble, talk to a bankruptcy attorney. We’ve helped plenty of folks keep their cars and their houses while discharging debts that make it more difficult for them to meet their payment obligations. To learn more about your options, contact Allmand Law Firm, PLLC today.