Helpful information about the repossession process
What is Repossession?
Does the creditor have to give me notice that my car is being repossessed?
What are recovery agents allowed to do to recover the vehicle?
What if I refuse to turn over the vehicle?
What happens after a Texas Repossession?
Will I still owe money after the car is sold?
Can I be sued for the balance?
Q: What is Repossession?
A: Repossession refers to a creditor with a lien upon your vehicle taking possession of said vehicle in the event that the debtor (you) have not made payments, failed to maintain insurance on the car, or breached the contract in any way.
Q: Does the creditor have to give me notice that my car is being repossessed?
A: Under Texas law, the creditor DOES NOT need to give advanced warning of the impending repossession, and in fact, most will not give advanced warning, so that the debtor does not have time to hide or move the vehicle to a different location.
Q: What are recovery agents allowed to do to recover the vehicle?
A: Recovery Agents are allowed to take your car, even if it is parked in your driveway, so long as they do not "breach the peace." The term "breach of the peace" is dependent upon the specific case, but generally, recovery agents are not allowed to do anything illegal or cause property damage in the act of removing the vehicle.
Q: What if I refuse to turn over the vehicle?
A: Recovery Agents are not supposed to illegally force the repossession. If you refuse to cooperate, the recovery agent will generally turn things over to the courts, in which case, your car WILL be forcibly taken.
Q: What happens after a Texas Repossession?
A: Your car will be taken to a storage lot or auction house for a period of time before it will be auctioned off. You must be given reasonable notice of the date, time, and location of the auction. This notice will be given by mail to the last known address your creditor has on file for you, so it's crucial that you pick up your mail or update your address with your creditor.
Q: Will I still owe money after the car is sold?
A: Unless you declare bankruptcy or otherwise legally stop the auction of your car, the car will be sold at auction with the proceeds being applied to the balance that is due on your loan. The auction price is typically much lower than the amount owed, so you will be responsible for the difference remaining, in addition to the cost of repossession, storage fees, sale fees, and any other charges associated with the repossession of your car.
Q: Can I be sued for the balance?
A: If you do not pay the amount owed, the creditor can file a civil lawsuit for the remaining balance. Once a judgment is made, keep in mind that A) the debt will increase over time due to interest, and B) this judgment will remain on your credit score until such time as you pay it off.