Having your car repossessed can be extremely upsetting especially if it was a wrongful repossession. Most of us need our cars on a daily basis for transportation to school, work, grocery shopping and medical appointments. Being behind on car payments is one thing, but it is far more terrifying to find your car missing or, worse yet, in the process of being repossessed!
As a rule, most repossessions occur at night since repossession agents don’t want to have any contact with the owner during the repossession process. Repossessing a vehicle when no one is around substantially reduces the risk of a confrontation.
Florida Law allows a loan or finance company to repossess a vehicle for missed payments or other breaches of the financing agreement. In Florida, consumers do not have to be sent a pre-repossession notice before a repossession is to occur. Moreover, the repossession must be carried out by a “recovery agent.” However, in performing the repossession, the recovery agent, licensed by the State and hired by the finance company cannot breach the peace. If there is a breach of the peace, then that is considered a wrongful repossession.
A breach of the peace may occur in several situations, such as:
You are not required to open a garage or move a vehicle that is blocking the ability to conduct the repossession. Moreover, you are not required to unlock a vehicle that the recovery agent is trying to repossess.
Under Florida law, if the car, or other item of value that was repossessed, contained personal items or professional materials, the recovery agent must give these items back to you. You may be expected to pay a small charge for their retrieval. Failure to provide these items back to you may result in criminal charges of petit or grand theft against the individuals directly involved in the act of the repossession.
After the repossession, the finance company that requested the repossession must inform you in writing as to their intent to sell the car that has been repossessed at a public or private auction. After that, the lender then has the right to obtain a deficiency judgment from you (amount of loan left after the sale of the car). In some cases, if the loan company did not have a legal right to repossess the car, you may have a rights to seek compensation and/or damages against the finance company for wrongful repossession.
If the finance company or recovery agent, or any person acting on behalf of the repossession company or loan company, performs any wrongdoing or unlawful action during the course of the repossession process, the repossession company or loan company may lose some or all of their legal rights against you. Some act of wrongdoing or unlawful actions could also provide you the ability to have your car returned to you.
Call or text us for to get a free consultation with an Orlando Repossession Defense Attorney.
We help consumer who have been victim of a wrongful repossession.