Auto loan delinquencies and repossessions on the rise

No doubt you remember the financial crisis of 2008. Unprecedented numbers of homes were foreclosed on in Philadelphia and across the nation, unemployment surged, the stock market tanked and President Bush and his advisers openly worried that the U.S. banking system might not survive.

Back then, auto loan delinquencies also skyrocketed, hitting their all-time high value at $23.46 billion in the third quarter of 2008. According to a recent news article, car loan delinquencies of one month or greater recently hit their highest value since 2008: $23.27 billion. The implications of the numbers are clear: car repossessions are also on the rise.

The more seriously delinquent auto loans (at least 90 days past due) hit $8.24 billion.

Is it time to buckle up for another crisis? Experts are not convinced. After all, the delinquency rate is only 3.8 percent of the nation's $1.16 trillion in outstanding car loans. But there is no denying that some people are struggling to make their car payments on time every month.

According to the news report, "higher levels of defaults and repossessions are likely."

That means that the frequency of improper repossessions is also going to rise. In some cases, a repossessor will enter enclosed (fenced in) property or a building without permission. In other cases, a repossessor (also known as a repo man) will use force to repossess the vehicle or will damage the vehicle or the property.

Some repossessors will even make false claims about having court orders to repossess a vehicle.

Any of these behaviors can mean a vehicle was wrongfully repossessed.

You can discuss the circumstances in your case with an attorney experienced in protecting consumers from wrongful repossession of vehicles. Banks and car dealers are too often willing to overlook improper attempts to repossess and wrongful repossessions. A lawyer with Philadelphia's Bensley Law Offices can help protect your rights and your assets.

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