Behind on Car Payments

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Car repossession after falling behind on car payments in Salem OR - OlsenDaines bankruptcy attorneysAs of early 2021, an estimated 7 million Americans fell behind on their car payments. Unfortunately, if you are one of those people, you may end up facing consequences like having your car repossessed. Not only does vehicle repossession leave you without a ride, but it can also seriously damage your credit and leave you with lingering problems. 

How Repossession Works

When you take out a loan to purchase a vehicle, the lender generally needs some sort of security measure in case you are unable to pay off the balance. So, under car repossession laws, lenders are able to seize your vehicle if you fail to make your payments. Lenders can then sell the car to cover some of your remaining balance. 

In most areas, lenders do not have to give notice in order to repossess your car. However, they must not “breach the peace”. That means they cannot break into locked buildings, use physical force, or threaten to use physical force when obtaining your vehicle. If a lender breaches the peace during repossession, you may be entitled to damages and should seek the guidance of an experienced attorney.

How to Avoid Car Repossession

Dealing with car repossession can be a time-consuming and stressful process, which is why it’s best to avoid having your vehicle seized in the first place. Here are some ways to avoid car repossession:

  • Set up automatic payments. It can be easy to forget about payments or deadlines. However, if this simple mistake becomes a regular occurance, it could put your account into default. Many lenders offer automatic payment options to help keep you on track. 
  • If possible, make up missed payments. While it is not always possible to make up missed payments, doing so could bring your account out of delinquency and prevent the lender from seizing your vehicle.
  • Call or meet with the lender. It could be useful to call or meet with the lender if you are unable to afford your minimum payments. Being transparent about your situation gives you and the lender an opportunity to communicate and find potential solutions. 
  • Consult a skilled attorney. If you can’t make your payments and aren’t able to come to an agreement with your lender, then it may be useful to contact an attorney. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you find different solutions, such as filing for bankruptcy. 

An Experienced Debt Relief Attorney Can Help

It can be challenging and stressful to navigate car repossession laws, especially if you aren’t aware of all of the possible solutions. Thankfully, the skilled attorneys at OlsenDaines are prepared to help set you up for success. If you are falling behind on car payments and are worried about having your vehicle repossessed, we may be able to help you find a better resolution. Just give us a call to schedule your free consultation!

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