Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle

It is always a gamble when you agree to finance a vehicle for someone else’s purchase, which is called seller financing. When you finance through a dealership, they have more recourse and more resources when it comes to customers who do not pay their car notes, but when you are a private seller and you have to repossess, it can become more complicated. Below are some tips for repossessing a privately purchased vehicle.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Check Your Paperwork

Hopefully, you and the buyer of your vehicle signed a contract or agreement stating the terms of the vehicle financing. If not, you could find yourself in hot water. Look over your contract or agreement and make sure that you are legally entitled to repossess the vehicle. If not, you could go to jail for auto theft.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Send Notice

Most states require that you notify the buyer before you make any attempt to repossess the vehicle. This gives them the opportunity to either make a payment or to turn over the car. Some states require that notice be given at least twice before you make your first repossession attempt, so be sure to check with your state’s laws regarding repossessing a privately purchased vehicle.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Decide Who Does It

You have two choices when it comes to the repossession of a privately purchased vehicle: (1) Repossession it yourself; and (2) Hiring a repo company to do it for you. Most people choose the second option because repossession can be difficult and, if you aren’t trained in skip tracing, it can be next to impossible. Not only that, but you might unwittingly break a few laws.

Repossessing a Privately Purchased Vehicle: Understand How it Works

Repossessing a vehicle means finding the vehicle where it is parked and retaking possession of it. This happens when a buyer defaults on the loan for the vehicle or otherwise violates his or her contract. When skip tracing and repossession firms repossess vehicles, they use several tools to find the car, and then employ various tactics in taking it back. It can be very dangerous work when buyers get angry, and might take an inordinate amount of finesse. And unless you have a set of keys to the vehicle, you will need a way to tow the vehicle away.

You cannot break any laws during the repossession of a privately purchased vehicle. This means that if the car is garaged at a private residence, you cannot break into the garage to take it away. This is called “breaching the peace” and could earn you a criminal charge. The best way to repossess a privately purchased vehicle is to hire a company to do it for you.