What Are the Repossession Laws in California?
The law in California allows lenders to repossess your property if you default on the loan, even if you’re only one day late in making payments. The specific terms of the loan dictate when the lender can come after you and how much grace period they can accord you, so ensure you read the terms carefully.
In the case of auto loans, your car is at risk of being repossessed if you miss a payment, are late in repayments, or break the loan agreement terms. However, with the help of bankruptcy lawyers in California, you can fight to protect your property and rights by finding the right means to debt relief to get you on your path toward financial freedom.
What Assets Can Lenders Repossess?
Creditors can repossess other types of property in addition to cars. Consumers often take a loan or open a line of credit to cover the costs of high-ticket items such as the following:
- Stereo equipment
- Various electronics
Creditors will repossess these items to recoup the losses associated with your inability to repay the loan. Unfortunately, repossession doesn’t free you from debt. If your property has been repossessed and you can’t repay the debt, consult debt defense attorneys in Downey. They can evaluate your case and advise your options out of the situation.
Do Creditors Give a Repossession Notice?
Unfortunately, the law doesn’t require creditors to give a notice of repossession when coming for the assets associated with the debt. You also don’t have to be physically present for them to repossess the asset. For example, creditors can repossess your car if it is parked in a parking lot or a garage open to the public.
The repossession agency is required to send you a notice within 48 hours after repossession informing you of the repossession. If your car was repossessed in your absence, the creditors must attach a list of all your personal possessions in the vehicle. You can sue the repossession agency if they don’t send you the proper notice for the repossession.
The lender should send you a notice within 60 days of repossession, although most send it within a week. The directive instructs how to reinstate your contract to get your asset back. Pay attention to whether the lender and agency give you adequate details in the notices, without which you can consult skilled California debt defense lawyers for legal counsel.
What Should I Do About Improper Repossession Conduct?
While lenders can repossess your car or other property from a publicly accessible area, repossession agencies sometimes cross the line during repossession. They sometimes employ illegal tactics they’re not permitted to undertake, such as the following:
- Trespassing into an underground or secured garage
- Breaking into your property to access the asset
- Damaging the property during repossession or attempts to repossess
- Entering your home unless you invite them in
- Threatening you or committing violence during repossession
- Touching anyone or forcing you out of the vehicle
- Forcing you to pull over to the side of the road
- Furnishing you with incorrect information about the purpose of the repossession
- The agents claim that they are police officers or have special government authority
- Having police officers present unless the creditor has already pursued legal action against you
If you believe your rights were violated during the car repossession or the agents run afoul of the law, you can file claims against them. Reputable debt defense attorneys in California can help you recover your property and its value and even fight for additional statutory damages.
What if the Lender Files a Debt Lawsuit Against Me?
Lenders have the right to sue you for unpaid debt, and you should respond to the lawsuit. You can do so personally, but you would be in a better position to navigate the complexities of the case if you retain skilled debt defense lawyers in California. Knowledgeable lawyers can carefully evaluate the contents of the lawsuit and help you respond within the required deadlines.
Responding to the lawsuit is vital to protect yourself and potentially avoid additional financial difficulties. With your lawyers, you will also have sufficient time to create a strong defense strategy against the lawsuit.
Potential Defenses in a Debt Lawsuit
You may have good reasons why you haven’t been able to pay your debt, such as losing your job, but the law only recognizes certain legal defenses to a debt-related lawsuit. Retaining debt defense attorneys with extensive knowledge of debt and repossession cases is crucial.
After evaluating all the circumstances surrounding your case, they can determine the most suitable defense to use among the following:
- The plaintiff didn’t file the lawsuit within the statutes of limitations
- There were laches in the statute of limitations in that the plaintiff waited so long to file the lawsuit that it negatively affected your ability to defend yourself.
- The plaintiff breached the contract.
- You disagree that you owe the plaintiff
- The matter was settled in another legal case
- The plaintiff doesn’t have the right to sue
This is a partial list of the legal defenses you can use in your debt lawsuit, and your debt defense legal team can advise you accordingly.
An Experienced Debt Defense Attorney Protecting Your Rights in a Debt Lawsuit
Lawyers can help you understand your rights and options when faced with asset repossession or debt lawsuit. Depending on your financial situation, bankruptcy lawyers in California can advise and help you file for bankruptcy for relief from the debt.
Don’t feel intimidated by repossession. Debt defense lawyers at Resolve Law Firm have in-depth knowledge and understanding of laws concerning legal action in relation to debt. Let us provide solid debt defense to confront your creditors and fight for your rights. Call us at 213-583-5547 to schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation.