Vehicle Repossession Laws in Georgia
When a borrower takes out a car loan or leases a car, they will sign a loan agreement (promissory note) to pay back the loan in installments. During this period, the lending company is the one who actually owns the title to the car, not the borrower. If, at any time during the agreed payment period, the borrower defaults on the loan or falls behind on payments, the lender has the right to take the car back. This is called Vehicle repossession, and it is perfectly legal in the state of Georgia.
Georgia Repossession laws are designed to secure the right of both parties during this transaction.
How Many Payments Can You Miss Before Your Car is Repossessed?
There is no set time limit on when your car can be repossessed if you have defaulted on your car loan. Technically, when you are even one day late with your car payments, you are in default on your loan agreement. With that being said, it is very risky to go beyond one month of default on your car note. Even if you are within one month, it is very important to communicate with your lender or car creditor. Do not avoid calls or letters. Speak to them about your financial situation and be honest. Don’t tell them that you can make a payment in the near future if you cannot.
Attention: If your car has been repossessed or is about to be repossessed in the state of Georgia, time is of the essence to take action. Contact Cherney Law Firm today for a FREE Consultation. We are here to answer your questions. We can get your car back or stop the future repo. Don’t Delay; call us immediately at (770) 999-0896 or fill out our form on the side of this page, and Attorney Matthew Cherney will contact you.
If you were unable to pay your auto loan, the auto lender would want to repossess the motor vehicle. The repossessed vehicle would be auctioned or sold off by the creditor or repossession company. Read How Cherney Law Firm has helped Some of our clients with vehicle repossession with actual client cases.
Find out how the Power of the Automatic Stay stops your creditors from trying to collect car payments from your immediately under Georgia Law.
What Happens When Your Car Gets Repossessed?
After your car has been repossessed in Georgia, the lender will notify the debtor that they have ten days to pay off the loan and repo fees in full. This includes any associated costs that were added to actually repossess the vehicle. Once that period has ended, the lender will usually sell it through an auction to sell the vehicle in a commercially reasonable manner. It is important to note that most of the time, the lender does not receive the full amount that was owed on the vehicle. This could be thousands of dollars less than what you owed on your loan. The difference between what you owed on a loan and what the lender sold it for is called the deficiency amount. Your lender will expect you to pay the deficiency balance. They can legally sue you for it during the repossession process.
Your Credit report will also suffer in more ways than one. The Repossession will show up on your credit report for seven years, and if your creditor sues for a deficiency judgment and is successful, that will also be on your credit report.
It is very important to know that there are ways that Cherney Law Firm can help before or after all of this happens. We can help with car repossessions, judgment, and loan deficiencies, but we cannot help if you don’t reach out and ask us to help.
Voluntary Repossession of a Vehicle in Georgia
Surrendering your car with a volunteer repossession in Georgia is an option if you know that you can no longer afford the payments. It can save you a lot of hassle vs having your car repossessed, such as the legal costs that you would ultimately be responsible for and the actual cost that your lending company pays a repo company to get your car. It also can reduce some stress, but besides that, there are still negative impacts:
Impact on Credit Report
Handing over your keys will still have a negative impact on your credit report because you will have defaulted on your loan contract with your lender. It is slightly better because it will appear on your credit report as a “voluntary surrender” rather than a “repossession,” but it will stay on your credit report for seven years.
Even though you have surrendered your car, it does not mean that you do not still owe money on it. After your lender has received your vehicle, they will sell it at an auction. If the car does not sell for the amount still owed on your loan, the lender can sue you for the difference. This is called the deficiency amount.
Can They Come on my Private Property to Repo my Car?
In Georgia, they can go on to your property to repossess your vehicle as long as they don’t breach the peace. They are not allowed to take your car from inside your garage, but if it is sitting on your driveway, they have the right to do it.
What Does Breach the Peace mean?
According to the Legal Information Institute, it means the crime of disorderly conduct or creating a public disturbance, usually involving unnecessary or distracting noise. Merely insulting another, or causing annoyance, is not a breach of the peace.
Can I Hide my Car To avoid Repossession?
It is illegal to hide your car with the intent to defraud the bank.
Are You in Danger of Repossession?
Are you facing the loss of your car or other personal items due to falling behind on your payments? Not only is this an embarrassing situation, but it is also expensive to resolve and could be impossible to manage financially. Falling behind on payments for tools, your car, or other items you have purchased can result in a disastrous situation. Eventually, the company you owe money to will repossess the car or other item if you do not seek the kind of legal help that you deserve. Stop Repossession in Georgia today by speaking with an attorney.
If you are facing the threat of Repossession in Georgia, call Matthew Cherney, Marietta’s bankruptcy lawyer, for help. Did you know that all repossession actions will be stopped immediately when you file for bankruptcy? This gives you the time to get this pressing issue sorted out before it is too late.
Can Filing for Bankruptcy in Georgia help Car Repossession?
Filing for bankruptcy protection in the state of Georgia can help you in many ways with car repossession:
The Automatic Stay
When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, all creditor action comes to an immediate halt. Any debt collector that contacts you by mail or by phone is in violation of federal laws regarding bankruptcy. There are certain actions during the period of the automatic stay that can be undertaken on your behalf to allow you to keep your vehicle, tools, or another item, and I can help.
The first step is to get your situation evaluated at once and get the help you need to determine the best way to resolve the problem before it turns into a disaster. My firm, Cherney Law Firm LLC, is prepared to assist you in getting your repossession problem resolved. Whether filing for bankruptcy is the best solution or an alternative would better work for you, you need to do something effective immediately.
If your car is repossessed and you cannot come up with the full overdue amount, you will never get your vehicle back, and the cost can be in the thousands. Should you fail to pay it, not only will you lose your car, you will still owe the lender per the terms of your contract. Effective action must be taken fast to help you avoid further financial problems. There are options for you, and it is important that you find out what can be done before it is too late.
Stop Repossession In Georgia: Get the Help You Need
The automatic stay is a temporary solution while the resolution is worked out. The skill of your attorney can make all the difference, as negotiations with the lender must take place. There could be opportunities to allow your overdue payments to be forgiven or at least added to the end of the loan so that you can still keep your possessions.
In many cases, after filing for bankruptcy, there is enough money available to keep payments current, as unsecured consumer debt is discharged, leaving more for you to manage your day-to-day expenses. I assist my clients in making arrangements that are to their benefit, including issues involving car payments and managing a repossession action.
In order to continue to go to work, take your children to school, go shopping, and do other daily activities, most often than not, you need a vehicle. When financial problems arise, such as reduced hours of work, a medical emergency, a divorce, or loss of employment, it is possible that a repossession of your vehicle could take place.
How this situation is managed is important to you and your family. I address these issues with your interests as my only concern. Having a skilled Georgia bankruptcy lawyer on your side can make all the difference. Call my firm today if you are facing Repossession in Georgia. I will review your situation and determine what can be done to make arrangements that will work for you. Always striving to provide a level of compassion to my clients, I can promise that I will always be on your side should you choose to work with me through this difficult time.
Free Consultation and Payment Plans Accepted
Whatever your situation is, it is important to get the information that you need. A majority of our clients tell us that the only regret that they have is not contacting us sooner. Feel free to ask us any questions. Your information is 100% confidential. If you decide to let us help you, we have a payment plan that we can build around any financial situation that you are in.