States have taken actions to combat the spread of the Coronavirus which seem to greatly impact the repossession industry. In California, Governor Newsom signed a stay-at-home order requiring all Californians to stay in their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of federal critical infrastructure sectors, including the financial services sector.…

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Consumers sometimes consider voluntary repossessions or surrenders of their vehicles when they are unable to meet their payment obligations under their car notes or loans. A voluntary surrender occurs when the consumer contacts the finance company or lender and makes arrangements to turn over the vehicle. The creditor then may send a repossession company to…

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A repossessor sometimes completes a repossession by following a car into a gated area or gated community (sometimes referred to as “piggybacking”), or the repossessor drives in when someone exits the gate. Both situations amount to a breach of the peace and are unlawful. California statutory law and caselaw define a breach of the peace…

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In California, a company needs a “repossession agency” license to locate or recover a vehicle. The licensing is provided by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS), a division of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Acting as a repossession agency without a license is a crime and grounds for a civil lawsuit in…

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A repossessor who takes – or attempts to take – property in breach of the peace (e.g., by force or by illegally entering a locked garage) can be sued for violations of the fair debt collection laws. In fact, the repossessor can be sued under both the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the…

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A repossessor cannot enter a gated and locked garage to repossess a car. There’s no exception to this rule. If a repossession agency takes a car from a gated and locked garage, the agency has committed a breach of the peace and the consumer can sue the repossession agency. A repossession must be accomplished without…

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