If you’ve ever tuned in to reality television shows like “Operation Repo,” or the like, you may see repo men (and women) as a bloodthirsty lot, who’ll stop at nothing and use any means necessary to take back cars and trucks, and even boats and planes. In recent episodes, it’s common to see delinquent debtors of all walks of life confronted, assaulted, and even pepper sprayed in an effort to repossess their past due property. While it might be argued that there’s more fiction this fact in these terse depictions of confrontational repossessions, it’s still a good idea to be prepared when repo men may come calling. To get you in the right place for this tough time, here are a few quick tips to keep in mind when expecting encounters with repossession representatives.
Keep Your Cool
Avoid the urge to confront, harass or in any way prevent a repo man from recollecting your property. While repo men should not be presumed to be confrontational or violent, in many cases the repossession industry is far from regulated and monitored, and trying to verbally or physically stop a repo man from removing a car or other vehicle from your home or land can lead to a quick trip to jail or the hospital. In this case, like many, let cooler heads prevail.
Know Your Rights
Even before a repo man or woman shows up at your door, forcing you to deal with the plain truth that your property will be taken—whether you like it or not—it’s best to understand your rights. Does your state allow for repossession after one missed payment or several? Will your creditor take your property now or can they be negotiated with? Contacting your creditor prior to repossession and asking them about their policies and your predicament can fill in the blanks on many of your repossession problems—before they happen.
Know When Not to Negotiate
On television, debtors often rush out of their homes, catching repo men and women in the act of repossessing their property where they either confront the unwanted repo or attempt to negotiate with the repo professional directly. Unfortunately, even if you run out with your full vehicle payment in tow, in this instance the repo man has no choice but to still tow your car, truck or boat away. Talking to a repo man does no good. Instead, contact your lender and work out a settlement if you want to get your car back.
Contact Someone Who Can Help
If you are unable to stay current on your car payment due to tough financial times, a bankruptcy attorney can help. Once you file for bankruptcy, it’s important to note that any further creditor action is stopped by the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay. While the automatic stay also means that the creditor cannot sell a repossessed car once you file, it does not assure the return of your vehicle. But take heart: for a pre-petition repossession, most bankruptcy courts have procedures by which a debtor whose car was repossessed may be allowed to get the vehicle back once the bankruptcy case is filed, including the potential that the debtor will be required to pay back possession and storage fees accrued in the interim, provide proof of car insurance, and have money on-hand to pay the various court and repossession fees. In all cases, though, the process is neither cheap, nor easy: something the bankruptcy bound individual may always want to avoid.
So, to avoid any headaches, hassles or hardships the best rule of thumb is, if you are going to file bankruptcy, do so before your car gets repossessed. In short, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can also help you not only conquer your creditors and face your financial fears, but also keep a much-needed car, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— to keep you moving (literally and figuratively) in your fiscally-viable future. The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button and let these experts take the wheel to so you can start down the road to your next best financial steps.