You almost paid off your entire car loan. But thanks to a slight miscalculation, now you’re late on payments. Hiding your car somewhere inaccessible is not a choice. Now, what if you “hide” it around other cars? Can repo man move another car to get to yours?
We all know that buying a car is no easy feat. Cars, especially new ones, can be expensive. That’s why loans exist. Applying for a loan means you can both get your car, and pay for it on your own terms. But sometimes life does not go according to plans.
You might have a way to pay the loan on time, but perhaps you have to spend your money on something else. Or there’s a slight miscalculation and now you are behind on your payments. Facing this, many people try to find ways to stop the repo man from taking their cars. Some hide their cars from the repo man. Others keep an eye open all day and night. Some move to another state. Does any of that actually work?
You may even have heard that repo man cannot move objects in their way to get to your car. But is that true? Read on as we get in-depth on can repo man move another car to get to yours.
Understanding Car Repossession
The term repossession means reclaiming something. In this case, the ownership of your car/other vehicle is reclaimed by the loaner to cover your loan. This usually happens when you fall behind on your payment. But, it also depends on your credit score. Debtors with bad credit usually get their property repossessed faster than the ones with a good score.
Cars are the most common asset to be repossessed. That doesn’t mean you can feel safe when you take loans for something else. Almost any assets can be repossessed to cover the unpaid loan or debt.
The worst part is, the leasing company or bank may not tell you when they come to repossess your property. Imagine going out one morning and finding your car missing.
Is Your Car in Danger of Being Repossessed?
Bills and loans to pay seem to be a never-ending story. Sometimes, emergency thing takes place and you have to take care of that instead. This may lead to inability to make the payment on time. When this happens for a couple of months, there’s a chance that the car will get repossessed. But, you don’t need to go into panic mode one day after the missed payment date.
There are a lot of factors to consider when talking about repossession. Who gives you the loan? Is this your first time missing a payment? What’s the agreement between you and the creditor about missed payments? How much do you have left on the payment? How bad is your credit score?
Depending on the situation, repossession may not even happen any time soon. Most creditors won’t send someone to repossess your car immediately. This is the case, especially if it’s your first time missing the payment. Although it depends on your credit score, too. If it is pretty bad, you will have to prepare for the worst.
You may have one to thirty days before the loan is on default. In some cases, you can even pay the late payment to the repo man on the spot. To really understand the situation, you should read your agreement with the creditor. If necessary, re-read your contract. When you understand the terms and conditions, it can help you to defend yourself. It is especially crucial if the repossession is not done accordingly.
How Repo Agents Find Your Car
Once they’re on your tail, there’s no absolute way to stop the repo man. Well, other than making up for the late payments or paying the loan off completely. But people wouldn’t reach this stage if they can do that, would they?
When there’s a chance of it getting taken away, people often choose to hide their car, since there are many ways to hide your car from repossession. This is also one of the tips that many people have heard when it comes to repossession. “Hide your car,” they said. “Move to another state,” they said. “Put it in a locked garage,” they said.
But all that are temporary solutions. Repo agents will and can find the said car. It is only a matter of time. You might ask how, but finding a hidden car isn’t as hard as people think. Especially with the existing technology used by the loaners.
Does hiding the car work?
When filing for the lease, people (including you!) provided lots of information. When you are behind on your loans, banks and lenders will then give your information to the repo man. The repo man will start their search according to that information. For starters, they will start with the home address provided. If you leave the car parked outside or on your driveway, it may already be gone the next time you’re out.
Some people will try hiding the car somewhere further from their house. That’s why the repo man will also scan the neighborhood. Some will at least check the 3 block radius from your house. As long as their clients continue paying, they will use every bit of information to get to your car. For example, a repo man might follow you once you’re out with the car. They may even wait at the parking lot of your workplace or supermarket. Then when you are out of your car, they will call the towing service and repossess your car.
You may also have heard about people moving to another state to avoid car repossession. That may work in the ’90s, but with the internet and data collecting that exists now, that is not the case anymore. A report written by the Washington Post said that repo man has used cameras to capture license plates. The computer then matches it to data of loaners falling behind on their loans. Some have also used GPS locators, which makes it even harder for you to run from repossession. So even if you move to another state, if a repo man hired by your loaners passes by your car, they can repossess it.
How to Avoid and Deal with Car Repossession?
It’s important to understand the risk of repossession when you get a car loan. Here are a few things you can do to deal with car repossession.
1. Maintain a good credit score
Of course, this will not help you after repossession. But it can help you when your loaners threaten you with repossession. If your credit score is good, banks may tolerate it more when you fall behind on payment. Banks and loaners usually prefer financially responsible clients. And that shows in your credit score. If you have a good credit score, you may be able to negotiate with the loaner. If you are successful, you may have more time to complete the payment.
2. Keep your car in the garage
The simplest way to avoid having your car taken is by keeping it locked in the garage. Repo man can and will repossess your car if your garage is open. If the garage is closed but unlocked, the chance of repossession is fifty-fifty. So do not take the risk and lock your garage!
But, the repo man can repossess your car if you park it outside. They can also claim cars parked in public. The only thing that stops them is that they can’t enter private properties. That’s why instead of the driveway, always keep your car in your garage to avoid repossession.
If someone tells you to hide your car on another person’s property, don’t! It may help you hide your car, but you will get in trouble for it. The court may see it as an effort to deceive the bank, and that is illegal.
3. Negotiate with your loan company
Repossessing your car is usually the last resort for loan companies to get the unpaid loan. They of course prefer that you pay back the debt as the value of your car has decreased the moment you drive it away. So when you can, you should negotiate with your loan company.
The result will depend on your negotiation skills, ability in paying, and their policy. If you can, offer to pay off the debt immediately with the interest. If the repossession has already happened, then offer to also cover the repo cost. That may help you gain their trust, and help you get your car back.
But you have to be careful with this option. Once you fall back on your payments again, you may not be able to negotiate your way out of repossession again.
4. Talk with the Repo Man
It will be much better if you can negotiate directly with your bank or loaners. But, that may not be an option for you. In that case, you should try talking with the repo man. Avoid being disrespectful, and try to be as calm as possible. Yes, this is a very stressful time, but being aggressive will not help you at all.
While repo man is not the one who can decide the fate of your credit, they can still help. They may not be able to let you off the hook, but they can move your account to the bottom of the repossession list. That is if you can convince them into doing that. If it happens, this will buy time for you to find a way to make payment.
5. Get Professional Counsel
The last thing you can do to help you out in this situation is to get professional advice. With their advice, you will be able to get a better solution than to hide your car and wait for the repo man. If you are in a really bad spot, getting professional advice is even more important. In a very dire situation, they can file for bankruptcy.
Depending on the law in your state, you may be allowed to keep your car. In general, when talking about bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common ones. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be allowed to keep most or all your property. That is, as long as you agree to maintain a payment plan for your debt. While for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may have to lose some of your properties to pay for your debt. You can apply for and receive motor vehicle exception, but it is not always the case. So, professional counsel is still a must if the condition calls for it.
Things Repo Man CANNOT Do
When it comes to repossession, you may have a lot of assumptions. Sometimes they have a toned-up body, are larger than you, or even come with an officer or sheriff. It does feel a bit unnerving, right? But repo men also have rules to follow. These will answer your question on “Can repo man move another car to get to yours?”
1. Can a repo man send you to prison?
The answer is: no. A repo man can’t send you to prison. Maybe they claim that you are breaking the law when you resist or stop the repossession. They may even threaten to get you arrested or sent to prison. But that is not true at all. As long as you are not hurting anyone, this is an empty threat.
Repossession is a civil matter, not a criminal one. When a repossession agent comes with a sheriff or officer, it is usually to help keep the peace. Especially because they aid that people may retaliate.
So, as long as you keep your calm and act respectfully, you don’t need to worry about this.
2. Repo man can’t threaten you
A repo man can’t threaten you physically. Yes, sometimes creditors or banks send someone shady to handle repossession. They may even have served time in prison, or a history of violence.
But, physically threatening someone is not allowed. They also cannot wield any sort of weapon when they approach you. So if any of that happens, report it to the police as soon as possible.
Like with the previous one, the repo man may already be on edge. People may attack or threaten them when they are doing their job (to repossess cars, that is). So they may already be defensive like you are around them.
3. Repossession agents can’t break into an enclosed property
This is one of the common tips on avoiding repossession: lock your car in a garage or behind a locked fence. That may actually work. But not for a very long time. After all, it is not like you are not ever going to drive anymore, right? Locked garages are not available everywhere either. So this is only a short-term solution while you try to stop the repossession.
This is why a lot of people are asking, can repo man move another car to get to yours? After all, it is behind another property, right? We will answer this question below, so read on.
4. Repossess your car without notice
A repossession agent cannot take your car without notice. They have to let you, and the police, know about it. Because if they do not notify you, it would be theft.
5. Repo man can’t force you out of your car
As we said, repo man can’t physically threaten you. They also are not supposed to touch you. If they force you out of your car, it means that they are using force and that is not allowed.
But, they can use force in self-defense. So you really have to act respectfully and stay as calm as possible.
6. Repo man can’t breach the peace
This is implied in all the rules that whatever they do, repo agents cannot breach the peace. Meaning they can’t use physical threats or force on you.
This is why sometimes people provoke the agents. If the agents are provoked, they may be tempted to breach the peace. Then, the repossession process will be forced to stop.
But we do not recommend this. In fact, we do not want you to do this. Provoking the repo men, or even threatening them, will turn you into the bad guy. The bank or creditor will then have a reason to call the police and get you arrested. So definitely do not provoke the repo man!
Can Repo Man Move Another Car to Get to Yours?
This is the big reveal. Can they do this? The answer is: it really depends. As a repo man can only repossess your car when they do it without breaching the peace. If you or your family notices that they enter your property and use physical force or threat, then the repo man has breached the peace. If there are no complaints from you or your family, then the repo man can repossess your car at any time.
But, the repo man cannot cause any damage to your property. If they do, then they will be charged for the damage. And if they do break some laws, they will also have to pay extra.
This really is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on the situation with the repo agent. So you may have to speak with an attorney for an answer specified to your situation.
The best way to avoid getting your car repossessed is to be responsible. It’s important to make sure you can pay on time before getting a loan. Preparing emergency funds before committing to a car lease is highly recommended. Of course, various things may happen and you lose your means to repay your debts. But if you lose your car, a repossession report will stay on your credit report for 7 years. It will really damage your credit score and cause problems when you need to take another loan. With such huge risks, our best advice is to avoid getting your car repossessed at all costs. Don’t lease a car unless you have a stable income and enough emergency funds. If it already happened, read as many references as possible so you can at least buy time to complete the payment.
Negotiation is your best chance, but if it doesn’t work, you might have to find another way to protect both your car and credit score. If you have a garage, settle on the simplest way by keeping the car inside at all times until you find a way. Don’t intentionally park on your neighbor’s property or ask them to block your car with theirs. This could cause a problem for your neighbor as it might be considered hindering the repossession process.
But if your question is can repo man move another car to get to yours? It depends on whether they are breaching the peace, and if they cause damage to the other car. So hiding your car behind another may not be a solution for repossession. If you can, get professional counsel to help with it.