Missing or delaying a car payment usually gives the lender grounds to repossess your vehicle. However, they must go about the process in accordance with the law. If a repossession agent uses physical force or threats or otherwise violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you can sue them for wrongful repossession. Navigating the Texas legal system is complex, but you don’t have to do it on your own.
A lawyer with Sue The Collector can help you hold the debt collector accountable and protect you against further harassment or abuse. Reach out to our team today by calling 877-BAD-REPO.
Why Choose Sue The Collector After a Texas Wrongful Repossession?
Our goal at Sue The Collector is to empower you to take control of your finances and credit. If we take your case, we will assign you an attorney to help you every step of the way. That is, they can protect your rights and build a lawsuit against the third-party debt collector who wrongfully repossessed your vehicle.
We have been featured on CBS News, Fox, ABC, and NBC and recognized in 2018 Entrepreneur 360™. Not to mention, we have won millions of dollars in awards from debt collectors. You may recover actual and statutory damages related to the wrongful repossession.
We offer free consultations and no-win, no-fee guarantees. We’ll even throw in a free downloadable guide to fighting debt collectors.
What Is Illegal Repossession in Texas?
If you missed a car payment or you were late on your monthly payment, the lender is within their rights to repossess the car. During the repossession process, they must not breach the peace, as it is a blatant violation of the law and your rights.
A repossession makes a breach of the peace when they:
- Enter a secured area, like a gate or fence, without permission from the homeowner
- Enter a private parking garage by tailgating someone or using a code to get in
- Block or lift the vehicle in question when someone occupies it
- Break a lock or gate to enter the space where they think the vehicle is
- Use physical force, like touching, pushing, or other forms of violence, to access the vehicle
- Make excessive noise (e.g., yelling, honking horns) and cause a public disturbance
- Threaten to arrest you or cause bodily harm
- Purposely damage property or the vehicle itself during the repossession process
- Move other cars if they are blocking the vehicle in question
- Take the car, even when you objected
Sometimes, unlawful repossession occurs even if you pay your monthly installment on time and are not in default.
What Can a Repo Agent Do During a Vehicle Repossession?
As long as the repossession agent doesn’t violate your rights and cause a public disturbance, they may carry out the repossession process. This scenario may look like:
- Towing your car from a public parking area
- Taking your car while you’re at work
- Confiscating the vehicle when it’s parking outside of your house
They usually wait until the right moment to stealthily take your car. Although they don’t have to warn you about the upcoming repossession, they must inform you that they confiscated it afterward.
Notices You Should Receive After Your Car Is Repossessed
The repossession company is not obligated to inform you about the repossession beforehand. However, Texas repossession laws discuss the instances in which different entities must notify you about it after the fact.
According to Texas Finance Code § 348.407, the creditor has 15 days after the repossession to inform you about any personal property they found in the vehicle. It should say that you have 31 days to pick up your stuff, when, and the hours of operation at the facility. Should you not claim your property, they are free to sell it or otherwise dispose of it.
In addition, Texas Business and Commerce Code § 9.612 says if the creditor is going to sell the car, they must inform you ten days before they plan to do so. You may no longer have to pay a deficiency fee if they don’t include all the necessary information in this notice.
The Tow Truck Operator
Per Texas Occupations Code § 2303.151, the company that towed your car must send you a notice, via certified mail, within five days of the repossession. Texas Occupations Code § 2303.153 affirms that the information must note:
- The storage rate
- The first day the storage rate was calculated
- Amount of charges for other matters when someone claims the vehicle
How to Get Your Car Back After It Was Wrongfully Repossessed
Some options for retrieving your vehicle after a wrongful repossession may include:
- Negotiate a new payment plan with the creditor
- Pay off the current loan balance
- Reinstate the loan and pay off any outstanding bills and other repossession costs
- File for Chapter 7 bankruptcy so the creditor can give you more time to pay off your debts
- File for Chapter 13 bankruptcy so you can hold onto the vehicle and pay it off for however many years
Although it’s not ideal, especially since your car is probably your main mode of transportation, you may want to sell the car before the repo agent can get their hands on it. You may be able to get more money for it than they could, and you can use that money to pay off the loan.
Learn More About Wrongful Repossession With Sue The Collector
If you’ve had your car unlawfully repossessed, our attorneys can review what Texas car repossession laws apply to your case and help you reach a favorable resolution. Call Sue The Collector today at 877-BAD-REPO.