Anyone can fall into a financial burden due to an unexpected circumstance such as losing a job, medical illness or loss of a loved one. If you've tried catching up on your payments and your lenders can no longer provide assistance with your loan, there are options available once your vehicle has been repossessed.
1. Take pictures of your vehicle before repossession. If you've missed a few payments and received notification from your lender stating your vehicle is listed for repossession than take pictures of the vehicle in case the repossession company has damaged your vehicle during repossession and transport.
If the repossession company has damaged your vehicle, you can file a lawsuit for these damages and receive reimbursement or the return of your vehicle.
2. Contact your creditor to verify why your vehicle was taken. If you are up to date on payments and your vehicle was repossessed than you may have missed an insurance payment and due to lapse in coverage your vehicle can be repossessed. The creditor or DMV can provide the fee payable to return your vehicle.
3. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there can be three options available to keep your vehicle.
A. Reinstate your Auto Loan - pay the defaulted payments along with additional fees incurred for repossession
B. Pay Off the Auto Loan - pay the full loan amount along with additional fees incurred for repossession
C. Buy back your vehicle - If your vehicle has made it to the auction and the sale date / time is available, you can buy back the vehicle at the auction.
4. Plan the most affordable financial option - If the creditor sold the vehicle for less than the loan amount, than you can be liable for the difference. If the creditor sold the vehicle for more than the loan amount, then you can recoup the difference. If you decide not to pursue the vehicle nor pay the loan, than you can consult with an attorney on filing for bankruptcy.
5. Remove your personal belongings from the vehicle - If your personal belonging were stolen or damaged during repossession and provide proof of loss you may be able to reduce the loan amount.