Most debtors never imagine that they will be facing vehicle repossession when they buy their car; but repossession is very common and becoming more of the norm as the economy worsens. Unfortunately for debtors facing repossession, a process that should be simple often becomes complex or even dangerous. At least a few times a year, news reports reveal sev eral stories about rogue repo men who take the repossession process a little too far. One woman was recently in a car crash after being chased and rammed by a repo man.
Texas Repossession Laws
Here are seven facts you need to know about the Texas Repossession Laws:
- Repo men in Texas do not need a license to operate. Unfortunately for debtors facing car repossession this can mean dealing with a Texas repo man could prove more risky. Keep this in mind when you think about “reasoning” or “arguing” with a repo man. If a repo man has come to repossess you vehicle, it is best not to argue or resist. You may be able to get your vehicle back later if you can work out a deal with the finance company.
- The first step to avoiding repossession is to know and understand your rights. If you have financed or leased your vehicle, the terms and conditions stated in your agreement will spell out under which circumstances your vehicle can be repossessed. Take the time to read your contract.
- Under Texas law, your vehicle may be repossessed even if it is “only” late. That means that if you payment was due on November 1st and you haven’t paid by November 10th it is possible to find your vehicle was repossessed by the 11th of November.
- The Financer or Leaser does not need to go to court in order to repossess you vehicle, nor are they required to give you advance warning.
- The repo man is allowed to come onto your property to repossess you vehicle; but they are not allowed to disturb the peace to do so. Also, if your repo man needs to come onto your property to repossess your property, they are not allowed to destroy or damage you property to carry out the repossession.
- The repo man is not allowed to physically harm you, threaten you or in any way demean you while carrying out the car repossession. Doing so would be a disturbance of the peace.
- Filing bankruptcy can stop repossession. Once you file bankruptcy your finance company is not allowed to carry out a car repossession. Bankruptcy will give you the leverage necessary to keep your vehicle and other assets.