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Lauren
10-16-2009, 11:32 PM
If this isn't the place to ask, feel free to move me :)

Can anyone tell me the procedure for repossessing a car? I know someone comes and gets the car if you're late on payments but I want to make this as accurate as I can in my novel. Are the police involved? What is the notification process? Say the person isn't home and they take the vehicle anyway, do they have to notify the person at some point? Like where they took it or any official paperwork? If you do know the "rules" or law, do you also know if it is different from state to state because I would be specifically looking for info on RI and PA. THANKS!!

Sorry it's more than one question really, and thanks in advance for any help!

DeleyanLee
10-16-2009, 11:41 PM
The one time I had a car repo'd when I was younger, I drove into my sister's driveway and went in. Someone came up to the door and asked for me by name, which was strange. When I came to the door, they handed me the repo papers and politely asked for the keys. I was kinda stunned and babbled, but agreed since, yeah, I was behind on the payments (house fire, job loss, no money, you get the idea). They were kind enough to let me get bags and empty my stuff out of the car (including the license plate--that was MINE). I handed them the key, kept the paper, and they drove off.

This was in Michigan.

PA has similar laws that the repo people have to give you a form saying that it was legally repo'd because PA keeps track of who has insurance and if your insurance lapses, you need to send in proof that you no longer possess the car.

I understand that because I was cooperative, the repo went very smoothly. Some states (don't know if PA or RI do) allows the repo company to go into your garage (if it's not locked--breaking & entering is still illegal) to get the car and leave you the letter taped to the garage door after they take the car.

Police only get involved if the deliquent owner makes a fuss or gets violent, as far as I know.

Hope that helps.

JLM
10-16-2009, 11:46 PM
We live in Louisiana and were behind on our truck note. A sheriff's deputy came to our door with papers, but my husband wasn't home in it. We scrambled to call a lawyer and file bankruptcy (which we had been contemplating but not doing anything about hoping for...I don't know, pennies from heaven maybe). The look on the sheriff's face when he came back was highly satisfying.

allenparker
10-16-2009, 11:57 PM
Virginia is a grab state. If you financed a car and the people are behind on their payments and the proper paperwork is filed with DMV, you can snatch the car from anywhere you can find it.

When I was younger and faster, I used to repo cars for a few used car dealers, the weekly payment people. We picked them up from people's work, house, the grocery store, or any place we could find them. And yes, the truck I drove had several bullet holes in it.

For specific details on the paperwork, that varies from state to state. Contact the DMV for the state your story is set if the process is important.

For how to snatch a car, PM me.

TabithaTodd
10-17-2009, 12:00 AM
http://www.trutv.com/shows/operation_repo/index.html

Here's an idea of how it works on operation repo from trutv network.

mudbubble
10-17-2009, 12:47 AM
I was involved in one repo.. went found the VIN- vehicle identification number on the dashboard to confirm it was the proper car ... Called a tow truck my company had a deal with... Sat in my car until he showed up.. pointed to the car... He asked me something to the effect of "Was I strapped? or Packing? or some nonsense question that means have you got a gun? I said fuck no. He said don't worry I am, showed me his gun. I left immediately..... if that helps, feel free to use that in any way you want.

YAwriter72
10-17-2009, 01:40 AM
When I was young and stupid, I had my Jeep voluntarily repossessed in ME. (No job, living back at home, left it parked next to the garage cause I knew they would be coming) They were very nice, let me get my things, gave me the papers and hooked up the car and left.

I think the huge Yellow Lab sitting next to me gave them a moments pause though. I think they thought I was gonna sic him on em! LOL

My aunt was a repo lady and she has got some stories!! She LOVED her job!

jodiodi
10-17-2009, 02:30 AM
We lost our SUV earlier this year. We voluntarily gave it up in the bankruptcy, but it took them about six months to come get it. They called and said they were outside in the driveway. It was some guy and a woman. She stayed until he drove the vehicle off. He was really nice and helped me clean out our stuff from the vehicle. I think I may have forgotten a few things, but on the whole, we got the important stuff out. I gave him both sets of keys and he left.

I was so embarassed and told him I'd never had anything reposessed ever and thanked him for being so nice. He said there was no reason to be ugly to anyone about it 'cause you never knew why someone was behind on payments and it was stressful enough without getting all pissy.

Lauren
10-17-2009, 06:13 PM
Thanks, everyone!

RJK
10-18-2009, 06:38 PM
Repo guys are required to notify the local police that they are in the area working and notify the police immediately after they pick up a car without notifying the owner. They do that a lot, back the tow truck up, throw on the hooks and are gone.
I also saw one group of guys who had a keymaker. They would read the VIN off the dashboard, and from that could make the ignition key. This was before the keys with the chips in them.

We used to get lots of stolen car reports that turned out to be repo guys that didn't follow the rules.

TabithaTodd
10-19-2009, 09:44 PM
Repo guys are required to notify the local police that they are in the area working and notify the police immediately after they pick up a car without notifying the owner. They do that a lot, back the tow truck up, throw on the hooks and are gone.
I also saw one group of guys who had a keymaker. They would read the VIN off the dashboard, and from that could make the ignition key. This was before the keys with the chips in them.

We used to get lots of stolen car reports that turned out to be repo guys that didn't follow the rules.

In Canada they don't have to notify the police but they do have to have a set of papers from a bailiff that the customer is suppose to sign. Canadian repo guys have no choice but to deal with the customer face to face. They aren't supposed to touch the repo in question until the customer has signed on the dotted line. We've had a car repo'ed on us (way back when) and the guy had to come to the door to get a signature.

My husband has done repos of boats, atv's, motorcycles, cars, construction equipment without the proper paperwork supplied. He's even "stolen" back a boat in the dead of night off the customer's front driveway while they slept.

Unfortunately, it's a very gray area industry where the rules aren't enforced very much. What is the non paying customer supposed to say - my boat was repo'ed because I didn't pay but buddy is stealing it off my front lawn?

Police side with the repo guys and the client they work for. In Canada, we don't have to call the police to tell them they are working in the area before, during or after. It depends too on municipality or district - so many rules overlapping from all levels of government legislation (4 of them, district, municipality, provincial and federal).

Tidbit of random information - ice cream trucks are illegal in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area - why, because provincial and municipal law state that you cannot sell product or services curb side, you have to be at least 50 feet from the city property (curb side). They get repo'ed and booted all the time, it's cheaper for them to pay the fines and go out again and keep selling rather than give up the product sales. Hubby has repo'ed a booted ice cream truck with the dude being dragged out of the truck by the cops in cuffs and full regalia on. Messy sitch those ice cream trucks and all they are trying to do is make a living.