What happens to a car when it is repossessed?


3 Answers

Meg Hayes Profile
Meg Hayes answered
When a person's car gets repossessed, there are several steps that will steps that will take place. This usually involves the finance company collecting the car from its owner, the owner being notified formally of the repossession by legal representatives and usually ends with the car being sold at auction. Below is a further explanation of each of the steps involved in the repossession of a vehicle.

  • Finance company collects the car from its owner.
Before the actual repossession takes place, the finance company will send several collection notices to the vehicles owner. If the company is contacted or payments are made then the repossession process may be avoided.

  • Repossession agent is contacted to collect the car.
Finance companies will not collect the vehicle themselves, they will send a repossession agent to do it for them. If a key is not provided by the finance company then the necessary method of towing may be used. This process is usually performed when the owner is away, but agents from a repossession agency are trained to handle confrontation.

  • Authorities are notified.
As the repossession process will usually be done whilst the owner is away, they may return and report that their car was stolen. To avoid suspicion of theft, the repossession agency or financial company will inform the local police that this car has been repossessed.

  • Personal effects are removed.
Anything that was left in the car by the owner is removed and placed in sealed bags for the owner to collect. These items will be kept at the repossession agency or financial company's offices for retrieval.

  • Repossessed car is sent to auction.
Once all personal effects have been removed and the car has properly been cleaned, the car will be sent to auction possible in another state to avoid confrontation with the original owner.

  • Remaining balance is paid by original owner.
Because the sale price of the car is rarely sufficient to pay the owner's outstanding balance, the original owner will still be held responsible for paying what is left.
Latoya Graham Profile
Latoya Graham answered

They take it away and try to sell it at auction to recover the money you owe. If they don't make enough back, they can still take you to court to recover the outstanding amount.

Jessica brown Profile
Jessica brown answered

You have a certain amount of time to retrieve it before it is sold at an auction. The lender may require you to pay the entire balance in full if you have not been cooperative in the past. 

Most likely the lender will request that you pay the amount past due plus any fees incurred as a result of the repossession process.

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