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Do I have rights after a vehicle repossession?

According to Yahoo, the United States has had an increase of 20.4% in auto repossessions in 2023. Experiencing a vehicle repossession can be a stressful and overwhelming situation.

In Maryland, there are specific rules and regulations in place that outline your rights and responsibilities in the aftermath of a repossession. It is important to understand what you can expect and what actions you can take to navigate this challenging period.

Right to a notice

In Maryland, lenders must provide notice of repossession to the borrower. This notice should inform you of the lender’s intent to repossess your vehicle. It typically comes via certified mail, and the lender must send it at least 10 days prior to the repossession, allowing you some time to address the situation.

Right to cure

Maryland law also grants you a right to cure period. This means that, after receiving the repossession notice, you have the opportunity to bring your loan current by making any outstanding payments, including late fees and repossession costs. If you can do so within the specified period, you can prevent the repossession from taking place.

Right to information

After a vehicle repossession, the lender has to send you a notice within 48 hours. This notice must provide information about your rights, including your right to redeem the vehicle by paying the full amount you owe or your right to reinstate the contract by catching up on past-due payments.

If the lender decides to sell your repossessed vehicle, they must notify you about the sale. This notice should include information about the sale date and location, allowing you to participate in the sale if you wish to do so.

If the sale of the repossessed vehicle does not cover the full amount you owe, you may be responsible for the deficiency balance. However, the lender must provide you with a notice detailing the amount and the calculation they used to determine it. You have the right to dispute the deficiency balance if you believe it is inaccurate.

Your rights and options may vary depending on the specifics of your situation and the terms of your loan agreement. Understanding how to navigate the situation effectively can protect you from a lot of headaches.