Losing your vehicle to a repossession is a terrible situation, but you do have some rights. It is important to be aware of what the lender must do before and after taking your car.
The Maryland Department of Labor explains auto lenders must follow all the typical debt collection rules. They also must adhere to specific requirements for vehicle repossession.
Your lender must send you a notice prior to repossessing your vehicle. The delivery must be by certified or registered mail or a personal delivery to ensure you get it and there is proof that you received the notice. The lender must also send the Discretionary Notice at least 10 days before the repossession. Failure to provide you with this proper notice will strip the lender of the right to recoup repossession costs from you.
The lender also must send you a notice after repossessing your vehicle. This notice, the Required Notice, will tell you what happened to your car. It is a verification that your vehicle is gone through legal means and was not the subject of theft. You must receive this within five days, and the lender must send it via certified or registered mail.
Keep in mind that your lender has the right to take back the vehicle if you fail to make a payment. They do not have to give you notice that your payment is due or provide you with leeway to make the payment unless that is part of your loan agreement. The property rightfully belongs to the lender when you fail to pay. However, you will have up to 15 days after a repossession to correct your account and get your vehicle back.