Are you behind on car payments, worrying about the repo man night and day? When consumers fail to make timely car payments, financing companies have the right to take the car back and auction it off to settle the debt, leaving the car owner stuck with no transportation. Sadly, this invasive tactic is rising. And although the financing company ordering a Colorado repossession does not need a court order, it must still follow the law.
Few people know that Colorado repossession laws require companies to carry out repossessions within certain parameters. For example, the finance company must send a right-to-cure notice before attempting to repossess the car. But some financing companies may quickly take the car and auction it off before the owner can respond.
Our Colorado wrongful repossession lawyers are here to help. We can determine whether the repo company followed the appropriate repossession laws in Colorado and sue them if they did not. Call Sue The Collector to learn more about your case and how we can seek the compensation you deserve.
Colorado’s Repossession Laws
Exercising the right to repossess comes from a default to the lien contract a buyer signs when purchasing a vehicle. Under Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) § 5-5-110, the lender must wait until the borrower is in default for ten days before sending a document describing the right to cure.
Simply put, the right to cure states the owner’s opportunity to catch up on missed payments and stop repossession efforts. Be aware, during the last 12 months, if an owner has been in default and the lender already sent a right-to-cure notice, this step need not be repeated.
After sending the right to cure, the lender must wait an additional 20 days for you to cure the default. If you have not cured the default by the end of the 20 days, the lender may repossess the vehicle. Again, they must do it legally.
What Makes an Illegal Vehicle Repossession In Colorado?
Our wrongful repossession attorneys can review your case and help you prove grounds to sue. Some of the infractions that may constitute an illegal repossession include:
- Breach of peace is the most difficult law for the repo man to follow! Generally, a breach of peace prohibits the repo men from engaging in actions of violence or disturbance.
- Excessive noise, yelling, and disturbing your neighborhood can all be considered a breach of peace. Write down your recollection of the incident. Did you get their license plate, company name on the tow truck, or other identifying information? Did the agent confront or threaten you? Was a neighbor witness to the event? This testimony may help later at trial.
- Any owner objection is all that is needed for the repossession to be unlawful. Agents ignoring your objection is a big problem. They can try another time, but the agent has no protection from the law if he continues the repo. This gives the power back to you!
- Breaking into a secured yard or locked garage becomes criminal trespassing. In many cases, the agent may face prosecution if they gain entry in these ways without your permission. If anyone captures this on video, you may have great countersuit leverage.
- Damaging property to take the vehicle, such as doors, fences, or locks, is illegal. Did you get pictures of broken locks or damage to your property committed during the repo? Photographic evidence can aid your case.
- Verbal threats or methods of confrontation to incite fear of consequence are also illegal.
- Towing the vehicle with someone inside may warrant battery charges. Moving an occupied vehicle can be viewed as kidnapping.
- The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – Colorado repossession law states repo men are subject to the FDCPA – dictates that repo men must not misrepresent their identity. Illegal actions by an emotional agent include pretending to be a law enforcement officer while conducting the repossession or stopping you on the street or highway. They do not have the power of a police officer and can’t endanger you by electronically disabling your vehicle while you are driving or leave you at risk on the side of a road.
- Among other definitions, some broad restrictions prohibit threatening legal action they can’t or do not intend to take, and they can’t harass you!
Repo Men Must Be Bonded
Phil Weiser, Colorado Attorney General, states, “Under Colorado law (C.R.S. § 4-9-629), any person who is retained by a secured party to recover or take possession of collateral upon default is required to be bonded for property damage to or conversion of such collateral in the amount of at least $50,000. Such bond shall be filed with and drawn in favor of the Colorado Attorney General.”
Colorado Attorney General Weiser instructs repo companies to “file a repossessor bond, send the following items to the Colorado Attorney General, Consumer Protection Unit, 1300 Broadway, 7th Floor, Denver, Colorado 80203:
1) Completed Application for Repossessor Bond (including a current partnership agreement or a Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Authority from the Colorado Secretary of State, as appropriate);
2) Original surety bond fully executed in the amount of at least $50,000 drawn in favor of the Colorado Attorney General (use Surety Bond Form); and
3) Non-refundable filing fee in the amount of $150, payable to the Colorado Department of Law.”
The repo man has a difficult task and must take the appropriate and careful steps to do his job legally. Wrongful repossessions happen every day in Colorado, but you can do something about it, turning the tables on them!
Let Sue The Collector Help Get You Back on Track
If a repo of your vehicle included any of these infractions, your rights may have been violated. Even if you’ve missed loan payments or made late payments on your car, you still have rights that a repossession company may have violated. We can protect your rights and take them to court if necessary.
You shouldn’t have to miss work or school because your car was illegally repossessed. Repossession agents must follow Colorado laws, and we can hold them accountable if they fail to do so. Our wrongful repossession attorneys want to help you take legal action and pursue compensation for their breach. You may qualify for statutory damages up to $1,000 and compensation for your actual damages.
Fill out the form on our contact page or call the offices of Sue The Collector at 877-BAD-REPO to schedule a free consultation on your case.
We will help you understand your rights and determine if you have a case for wrongful repossession.