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Vehicle repossession: You may have more rights than you think

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2014 | Consumer Protection

If you’re a Pennsylvania resident who is behind on a few car payments, are you worried that a vehicle repossessor hired by a bank or other lender might suddenly pull in front of your car in a tow truck and simply haul it away?

Do you harbor negative thoughts that such an outcome could ensue in the parking lot at your workplace or some other public venue? Do you envision waking up in the morning to find that your car was towed away from your very residence during the night?

Admittedly, such scenarios do play out across the United States, but that does not always mean that the outcome is right — or legal.

As we note on our website at the Philadelphia-based Bensley Law Offices, LLC, vehicle repossession is not always a cut-and-dried matter, with consumers having “far more rights in this process than they often realize.”

Those rights commence with this consumer power: the right to tell a would-be repossessor to get away from your vehicle.

There is such a thing as wrongful repossession of a vehicle, with a repossessor crossing a legal line by attempting to remove your conveyance after you have told him or her not do so.

In fact, a consumer has a broad-based and comprehensive set of rights regarding a vehicle that has not yet been towed. Among other things, a would-be repossessor cannot enter your property absent your consent, or refuse to leave when you demand that he or she vacate the premises. A repossessor cannot threaten force against you, damage your vehicle or make physical contact with you.

A consumer commands additional rights even in the event that he or she voluntarily surrenders a vehicle. In some instances, underlying fraud committed by a dealer might render a purchase agreement null and void and terminate any duty to make continuing payments. In other cases, a bank might act in a manner that is contrary to the promises it made pursuant to a vehicle’s surrender.

Any consumer having questions or concerns about vehicle repossession can obtain accurate answers and diligent legal representation from an experienced auto repossession defense attorney.

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