If you live in Indiana and you’re late on your car payment or otherwise in default, the repossession company is within its rights to seize your vehicle. However, it must follow certain protocols for the repossession process to be considered lawful. Unfortunately, there are instances in which the repo agent commits breaches of the peace, violating the law.
If you believe your car was wrongfully repossessed, Sue the Collector can help. One of our Indiana wrongful repossession attorneys will review your case and determine your eligibility for compensation. Our team has won millions in awards from debt collectors and has been featured on various news sources, like FOX, CBS, ABC, and NBC. Call us today at 877-BAD-REPO to begin a free consultation.
Indiana Repossession Laws
Even if you’re one day late on your car payment, you’re considered to be in default. In that case, the repo company can repossess your car. Whether there’s a grace period is up to the company. It also doesn’t have to send you a notice informing you that it will seize your car, nor is it required to have a special license to carry out the repossession process.
However, the repossession agent must not breach the peace when doing so. If they do, they are most likely in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. For example, the repo agent is not allowed to:
- Use verbal threats, swear at you, or say racial slurs or vulgarities
- Damage the vehicle or your personal property inside
- Yell or cause a public disturbance
- Lie about their identity or otherwise deceive you
- Break into a locked or secured area
- Use physical force against you
If you catch the repo agent in the act of seizing your car and you object, they MUST respect your wishes and leave. If they don’t, we advise you to call the police. That’s usually the reason why they try to be discreet when carrying out a repossession. They may have the vehicle towed from a public parking lot or outside of where you work.
What Happens After the Car Repossession in Indiana
Unless you’ve paid 60% or more of your loan balance, the lender can keep the car and must sell it at an auction. You should receive a Notice of Sale shortly after the repo agent seized your car. This Notice will contain the location, date, and time of the sale.
At this point, you may think that you’re off the hook and don’t have to continue to pay off the loan balance. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. After the creditor sells your car, you must pay the towing, storage, and repossession fees, sale fees for cleaning, repairing, and advertising the vehicle, and the loan balance.
What Happens After Your Repossessed Car Is Sold
Once the car has been sold, you will receive a post-sale notice that will show an itemized list of how the aforementioned funds were distributed. If any of the sales proceeds exceed these funds, the creditor owes you a refund. Otherwise, you owe a deficiency balance, and the creditor has the option to file a lawsuit against you.
However, if you bought your car for under $4,800, Indiana protects you from the creditor taking further action. If you bought it for more than $4,800, you can settle your deficiency balance with them. 750 Ind. Admin. Code 1-1-1 says that the purchase prices that enable the lender to sue you change every year. For 2023, it’s $4,800.
One of our attorneys can find out what applies to your situation.
If Your Personal Property Was in the Vehicle at the Time of Repossession
If you suspect your car to get repossessed, take all your belongings out of your car as soon as possible. However, should the repossession have already occurred, and you didn’t get the chance to retrieve them, don’t fret.
The lender must send you a written notice that contains a list of the items it found when your car was repossessed. You typically have 30 days to claim them after it sends you the Notice. After that, the lender can do whatever it wants with them.
If You Can Get Your Car Back After a Repossession in Indiana
If the repo agency acted within its rights following the repossession, you might think that you’re out of options and won’t get your car back. That doesn’t have to be the case, though. You may be able to:
- Negotiate a new payment plan
- Try to retrieve your vehicle from whomever the lender sold it to
- Pay off your loan balance
- File for bankruptcy
One of our repossession attorneys can review your case and help you determine the best course of action.
How the Indiana Wrongful Repossession Lawyers at Sue the Collector Can Help You
If the repossession company breached the peace or failed to send you an inventory list or other notices, you may have grounds to take legal action against them and get your vehicle back, in addition to other forms of monetary compensation.
Before you get started, though, you may want to build an evidence file. Write down everything you remember about the unlawful repossession and how the repo agent acted. You should compile your loan documents and print your payment history. If they sent you a Notice of Sale and other related documents, include those, too.
From there, our lawyers can assume these tasks for you:
- Present the evidence to the other party and their representatives
- Handle all communication
- Represent you throughout legal proceedings
- Negotiate a fair financial outcome
Sue the Collector operates on a no-win, no-fee guarantee, so you have limited risk when you partner with us.
Our Indiana Wrongful Repossession Lawyers Are Ready to Fight for You
Our lawyers can protect you from further abuse and harassment from the repo company after it wrongfully repossessed your vehicle. Call Sue the Collector today at 877-BAD-REPO for a free consultation. We also offer a free guide to fighting debt collectors available to download.