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Can you prevent vehicle repossession?

Facing potential repossession of your vehicle can cause frustration and uncertainty. You most likely rely on your car to help you maintain critical obligations in your life.

While you cannot know for certain what will happen, there are things you can do to mitigate the likelihood of repossession. Knowing how to respond might help you maintain some control of the situation.

Sell your vehicle

One option you have is to sell your vehicle before anyone can repossess it. Consider alternative ways to get around while you save enough money to purchase another car. For example, you can rely on public transportation or the help of family or friends to get around town. You can also buy a bicycle or maybe borrow a vehicle from someone you know.

As soon as your loan goes into default because of non-payment, your lender has the right to repossess your vehicle. However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission warns that individuals tasked with vehicle repossession cannot breach the peace. This means they should not threaten you, and in some cases, it means they cannot take your vehicle out of a closed garage.

Negotiate with your lender

If you know you have not kept up with car payments and you have concerns about repossession, be the first to contact your lender. See what your options are and ask for leniency. You might have the opportunity to negotiate with them and work out a temporary agreement that allows you to make payments on a modified schedule.

Make sure you know your rights. Just because you have not been able to maintain your payments does not mean you have to give up your rights. Knowing your rights will enable you to advocate for yourself during a difficult time.