A Comprehensive Guide to Georgia Repossession Laws

Are you facing repossession? You have legal options. This guide to Georgia repossession laws covers everything you need to know.


Basics of Georgia Repossession Laws


If you are late on your car payments or have defaulted on your lease or loan contract for your automobile, the creditor has the authority to seize the car, sell it, and perhaps sue you for the remainder of the debt under Georgia state law.

If they sue you and obtain a deficiency judgment, they have the right to confiscate your earnings and seize your bank accounts in order to satisfy the debt.


Vehicle Repossession Laws in Georgia

When borrowers obtain a car loan or lease a vehicle, they will sign a loan agreement (promissory note) promising to repay the debt in installments. During this time, the lending business, not the borrower, has the title to the vehicle.

If the borrower fails on the auto loan or falls behind on the car payments at any time throughout the specified payment period, the lender has the right to repossess the vehicle. This is known as vehicle repossession, and it is totally legal in Georgia under certain circumstances.


What Are the Georgia Repossession Laws?


What Are the Georgia Repossession LawsThose executing the repossession can go on your property to repossess your vehicle in Georgia as long as they don’t disturb the peace. They are not permitted to take your automobile from inside your garage, but they are permitted to do so if parked on your driveway.

When a consumer enters into a loan contract for a big purchase, such as a car, and fails to make monthly car payments, the creditor has the right to repossess the good secured by the loan. If a customer is facing car repossession, understanding Georgia law and the limitations on creditors’ actions may equip them with certain protections during the repossession process.


Laws on Repossession in Georgia

According to Georgia Repossession Law, your possessions can be repossessed if the following conditions are met:

  • Repossession in Georgia might occur if you entered into an agreement and used the property as security for a loan.
  • If you do not follow the loan agreement terms, the property may be repossessed immediately.
  • Most lenders will want you to recognize this in your loan documents, such as a car loan, which could result in Georgia auto repossessions.
  • The bulk of Georgia repossessions is automobile or truck repossessions. However, any Georgia repossessed vehicle that is encumbered with a loan can be considered a repossession.
  • Repossession Services in Georgia are not required to notify you before repossessing your vehicle.
  • A lending firm does not need to hold a court hearing to repossess your automobile or truck in Georgia.
  • Mortgage lenders cannot repossess a home in Georgia.
  • Georgia law mandates that homes be put in foreclosure and afterward auctioned off if the loan cannot be met.

For more details about car repossession and how to avoid it by filing for bankruptcy, contact our Alpharetta bankruptcy lawyer at 770-485-4141 and request a consultation now. The Cherney Law Firm will provide you with a free consultation on your case, legal advice, and representation. With over 15 years of experience and over 10,000 cases filed, we will provide you with immediate and effective solutions during challenging financial times.


How to Avoid Vehicle Repossession in GA


How to Avoid Vehicle Repossession GAJust because you’re in default, you may still be able to reinstate your automobile loan and avoid Georgia repossession. Loan reinstatement allows you to avoid repossession or reclaim your motor vehicle if it has already been repossessed. Reinstatement brings the debt current by aggregating all past-due payments, including late penalties and other expenses, into a single substantial sum.

The default is also known as the “right to cure.” However, not everyone has the right to be reinstated; only certain state laws grant this privilege. Whatever the circumstances surrounding your automobile finances are, an experienced Kennesaw bankruptcy lawyer with vehicle repossession can assist you. Call our firm right away for guidance on your next steps.


Legal Options for Individuals Facing Repossession


Navigating the turbulent waters of repossession laws in Georgia can be daunting, but understanding your legal options can provide a lifeline. In Georgia, individuals facing the possibility of vehicle repossession have several avenues to explore. Firstly, reinstating the loan can be a viable option. This involves paying off the overdue amounts, along with any additional fees, to bring the loan current. It’s a straightforward solution that can prevent the repossession process from moving forward.

Another potential strategy is loan modification. This requires negotiating with the lender to adjust the terms of your loan, potentially lowering your monthly payments or extending the loan period. While not always possible, it’s worth discussing with your lender, especially if your financial situation has changed.

How Cherney Law Firm, LLC Can Help

Bankruptcy is also a legal pathway that can halt repossession in its tracks. Filing for bankruptcy immediately activates an automatic stay, prohibiting creditors from taking further action, including repossession. However, this is a significant step with long-term implications and should be considered carefully, ideally with the guidance of a skilled bankruptcy attorney.

Each of these options has its complexities and considerations. Consulting with a legal professional who understands Georgia’s repossession laws can provide clarity and direction, helping you navigate this challenging situation with informed decisions.

For more detailed guidance tailored to your specific situation, reaching out to a legal expert is advisable. Their expertise can illuminate the best path forward, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the process.

How to Get Your Car Back From Repossession

You can sometimes approach the creditor and explore alternatives to getting your automobile back or reducing/eliminating the debt.

When an automobile is repossessed, the creditor will usually sell it at a public auction or through a private dealer sale. Such car transactions do not always maximize the repossessed vehicle’s value. If you can sell the car to a willing buyer for more than the creditor is likely to receive in an auction or dealer’s sale, this may be the best alternative for you.

A creditor may consider this alternative because it saves on resale costs like storage and advertising fees. This is a challenging option to pursue because you only have a limited amount of time. For starters, the buyer must have ready access to credit or funds. More essential, you must obtain the cooperation of the creditor.


How Does Georgia Law Protect Borrowers in the Event of a Repossession?

Georgia law offers several protections to borrowers facing repossession. State law requires lenders to notify borrowers before repossessing a vehicle, allowing a chance to cure the default. If a motor vehicle is sold after repossession, Georgia mandates that borrowers must be informed about the sale, giving them the opportunity to pay the remaining loan balance and reclaim their property.

Additionally, any surplus from the sale beyond the outstanding balance and reasonable repo fees must be returned to the borrower. Personal property within the repossessed vehicle must be handled carefully, with provisions for its return.

Borrowers also have the right to seek legal advice and challenge the repossession if they believe it was conducted unlawfully or if the creditor sues for a deficiency balance after the car sells for less than what was owed.

What You Need to Know About Car Repossession in Georgia


What You Need to Know About Car Repossession in GeorgiaOnce the repossession company collects your vehicle, the car creditor can eventually sell it to an auction to get back as much as possible of the balance on the pending loan. When your car is repossessed in Georgia, the lender will notify you that you have ten days to pay off the loan in full. This includes any additional expenditures incurred in order to recover the repossessed vehicle.

When that time period expires, the lender will normally sell it at an auction. It is crucial to know that the lender does not always recover the entire cost owed on the vehicle; this could be hundreds of dollars less than what you owe on your loan.

It’s also important that the vehicle is sold at a fair market price and in a commercially reasonable manner. That means the auction must be adequately advertised and run appropriately to receive all reasonable bids.

If the auto lender doesn’t do that, you may not have to pay the whole deficiency balance, which represents the remaining balance between the car price and the full balance on the loan. In that case, you may only have to pay the difference between the fair market value of the car and the balance due on the loan. But if the auto lender advertises the auction sufficiently but attendees just happen to bid low, you’ll likely have to pay the full balance.

The shortfall amount is the discrepancy between what you owed on the loan and what the lender sold it for. Your lender will demand you to make up the difference. They have the legal right to sue you for it. Having an experienced Atlanta bankruptcy attorney on your side can make a world of difference. If you are facing repossession in Georgia, contact the Cherney Law firm right away and request a free consultation on your case.


How Voluntary Repossession Works


If you know you can no longer make the payments on your car, you can surrender it through the process of volunteer repossession in Georgia.

This can save you a lot of trouble compared to having your automobiles repossessed, such as the legal fees you would eventually be accountable for and the actual cost that your lending company pays a repo business to get your car. It can also alleviate some stress, but there are still some drawbacks.


Georgia Repossession Laws & Procedure


Georgia Repossession Laws ProcedureIf you default on your loan, your creditor may repossess your car without giving you notice or appearing in court. Your vehicle might easily be towed away by the repo agent. Georgia authorizes agents to confiscate cars and trucks from private property as long as they do not use force or disrupt the peace.

After the automobile is taken, the lender must notify you of the repossessed vehicle and give you ten days to pay the whole loan debt (plus repo expenses, storage fees, and late fees) and “redeem” the vehicle. If you do not pay back the loan during this time period, the lender would typically auction off the repossessed vehicle.

The vehicle’s auction sale price will be applied to your outstanding balance. If the proceeds from the sale do not pay the entire amount, Georgia law allows lenders to sue you to collect the remaining loan balance, known as the “deficiency balance.”

If you want to learn more about repossession laws in Georgia, contact the Cherney Law Firm today at (770) 485-4141 for a free consultation on your case. Car repossessions are frustrating to deal with, and sometimes it can get more troublesome without having proper legal advice on your side.

Having the right bankruptcy attorney by your side is critical, no matter how complex your case may be. Our law firm has over 10,000 filed cases and has helped thousands of people to gain a new, fresh start. It’s time for you to do the same and get rid of all the stress involved. We are here for you!

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