An automobile often is the collateral for the loan used to purchase the vehicle. When a person defaults on a secured loan, the secured party has the right to take possession of, or repossess its collateral. The secured party may repossess its collateral without obtaining a court order only if this can be done without breach of the peace. When a repossession cannot be accomplished without a breach of the peace, the secured party must obtain court approval to recover their collateral.
If the owner of an automobile objects to the repossession, then the law provides that the repossession cannot take place without breaching the peace. In other words, the secured party or its agent, the repossession company, must discontinue its’ efforts to repossess the collateral without court approval, and proceed to obtain court approval if they wish to recover the collateral.
An objection to a repossession can be made by simply verbally informing the repossession agent attempting to repossess the collateral that “I object” or other similar language or actions which make it clear that an objection to the repossession is being made.
If the repossession agent attempts to repossess the collateral after being informed of the owner’s objection, he or she has breached the peace. The repossession agent cannot use physical force against you or your property. Likewise, they cannot make any threats to intimidate you or to harm you or your property. If police are present during an attempted repossession and the repossession agent refuses to leave a person’s property, the police cannot aid in the repossession and should instruct the repossession agent to vacate your residence.
Please contact the Buffalo and Rochester, NY automobile repossession lawyers at the Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller to schedule a free consultation.