Car / Automobile Repossession Defense
Question: Has your Car or Automobile, (ATV, Boat, Camper Trailer, Plane, Snowmobile, etc.) been Repossessed? Are you being sued for damages or miles relating to a leased car you long turned in? Now what are my options?
Answer: Car Repossessions haunt consumers in two very different ways. First, if you do not make timely payments on your vehicle, your creditor may have the right to “repossess” or take back your car without going to court or warning you in advance. The second way we see repossessions, which often times occurs without advanced warning as well, is when a sheriff repossesses your car acting on behalf of a debt collector. The sheriff will sell your property to satisfy an outstanding judgment, which both the debt collector and sheriff profit from. This is known as an Execution or Seizure, and contrary to popular belief it doesn’t matter if the car is encumbered by a bank note as the vehicle could still be seized by the debt collector and sheriff.
Yearly we handle over a hundred collections and collections defense cases, including defending you when your car has been seized/ repossessed. For more information about repossession defense cases, and to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are licensed Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.
Our Familiarity with Collections Industry:
One of the greatest advantages of hiring our firm is the connections we bring to the process. Because of our past employment as debt collectors, having worked for five major collections firms working throughout Michigan, typically we know the Plaintiff, their Attorney, the Court, and the Judge. We can quickly assess the facts of your case, in efforts of determining the best course of action and in turn the best possible result for you, our client. We know more loop holes than most attorneys, and we know when it’s time to fight and when it’s time to settle. For this reason, looking for an attorney who practices in the county where you were sued is particularly helpful. That said we regularly practice in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Lapeer Counties, and have taken cases throughout the entire state of Michigan.
What is the difference between voluntary and involuntary repossession?
In an involuntary repossession, the bank sends someone to seize your car. In a voluntary repossession, you take the car back, yourself. If you take it back yourself, you may avoid certain fees the bank will charge you if it has to come and get your car. The effect is the same and a voluntary repossession does not look any better on your credit report than an involuntary one.
Repossession because of nonpayment on a car loan…
If you financed a car with a small down-payment, there is a good chance you are upside-down on your loan, meaning you owe more than the vehicle’s worth. A growing number of people are finding they cannot free themselves from their car debt even after the dealer takes back the keys. The reason is because cars sold at auto auctions often fetch less than half the balance left on the car loan, creating a deficiency or shortfall.
Despite what you think, car loan lenders do not forgive these deficiencies. In fact, more and more car loan lenders are pursuing consumers for massive deficits some as high as twenty to thirty thousand dollars, for a car they no longer own. These sales, whether public or private, must be conducted in a commercially reasonable manner. With the economy, unfortunately pretty much anything could be commercially reasonable. Making the problem worse is the poor resale value of SUVs, trucks, and big cars at auto auctions. When these out-of-demand vehicles sell for low prices at auction, the deficiency grows. Similarly, your creditor must pay you if there are surplus funds after the sale proceeds are applied to the outstanding contract obligation and related expenses, but this situation is very infrequent, and we are aware of only one instance of this.
The statute of limitations on such a suit for a breach of contract in Michigan is six (6) years from the date of last payment, meaning many of our clients get sued two, three, or four years after their cars have been repossessed when they are in better financial shape.
If a collection agency is pursuing you for a car that was repossessed or even if a creditor is seeking damages or miles on a lease you’ve long ago returned, consider defending yourself, consider hiring Garmo & Kiste, PLC. Call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are licensed Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.
Repossession as seizure (or execution) because of nonpayment on a valid active judgment …
Execution is the process of putting into effect a court judgment. While a garnishment takes property or money that is in the hands of a third party, execution takes property or money that is in the hands of the judgment debtor. The most common execution is vehicle repossession, whether it be a Car, Automobile, Truck, ATV, Boat, Camper Trailer, Plane, Snowmobile, etc. Often, the assets the officer repossesses are less than the amount of the judgment. In addition, the value of the sheriff’s efforts can exceed the properties market value. A car is often worth more to its owner than its auction price because it represents the debtor’s transportation and ‘freedom’ in our mobile society.
If your Car, Automobile, Truck, ATV, Boat, Camper Trailer, Plane, Snowmobile, etc. has been seized/ repossessed/ executed, consider defending yourself and hiring Garmo & Kiste, PLC. Call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are licensed Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.