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What To Do If a Vehicle is Damaged During Repossession

What To Do If a Vehicle is Damaged During Repossession

Your Rights When a Repossession Company Damages Your Vehicle

Being behind on car payments is difficult enough without having to deal with additional damage caused during the repossession process.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for repo agents to accidentally damage vehicles while towing them away.

If this happens to you, you should know that YES, you have legal rights to protect yourself, and I’m going to lay them out for you in this article

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Assessing the Damage

The first step is to thoroughly document any damage done to your vehicle during the repossession.

Take clear photos from multiple angles, detailing every scratch, dent, or other issue. Make a written inventory as well, describing each point of damage in detail.

It’s important to show a difference between pre-existing damage vs new damage caused by the repo company. If possible, have a mechanic inspect the vehicle to provide an expert assessment and repair estimate in writing.

Understanding Your Rights

Under most state laws, repossession companies are liable for any damage they cause to a vehicle during the repossession process. They must exercise reasonable care and cannot commit a “breach of the peace,” which may include:

  • Using physical force or threats
  • Damaging your property (vehicle, garage door, etc.)
  • Continuing repossession after you object

If the repo agent breached the peace or caused negligent damage, you may have grounds to seek compensation from the company.

Seeking Compensation

Once you have documented the damage, send a written letter to the repossession company detailing the issues and requesting reimbursement for repairs. Include copies of your photos, mechanic’s assessment, and repair estimates.

If the company refuses to compensate you fairly, you can take further legal action.

Consult with a consumer protection attorney, who can advise you on filing a lawsuit in small claims court or pursuing other solutions based on your state’s laws.

Conclusion – Protecting Your Rights

While dealing with vehicle repossession is undoubtedly stressful, it’s important to remain calm and know that you do have the right to recoup damage done during the repossession process.

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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