Having your car be repossessed is a very stressful and scary situation. You need your car to go to work, to make doctor’s appointments, and run errands in your daily life. Having your car repossessed not only leaves you physically stranded but also you feel stranded.
Your car may be repossessed if you are in “default” of your car loan agreement. Default is defined in your contract. Most contracts define default as being 10 days or more late with payment. Be sure to read your contract to determine when you may be in default. After 10 days late with payment, your car can be repossessed. However, you are no longer in default if the creditor accepts your late payment and does not give you notice that they will demand strict compliance in the future. If your creditor does repossess your car before you are in default, your rights have been violated and you should contact an attorney immediately.
Under Virginia Law, the Creditor Does NOT Have to Give You Notice that You Are in Default
You still have an opportunity to get your car back after it was repossessed if you were in default. This is your right to redeem. However, redemption may include you paying all expenses incurred in repossession and payment of the entire, “accelerated” amount due. Your loan may be “accelerated” meaning that you must pay the entire loan amount, not just your missed payment, in order to get your car back. The creditor must provide you with a Notice of Acceleration. If not, the creditor may be in violation of the law.
After your car has been repossessed, the creditor is now able to “dispose” of the car. The creditor may choose to sell the car by way of either public or private sale. However, you still have the right to redeem at any time before the creditor disposes of the car. If your creditor decides to sell the car, it must provide you with a Notice of Proposed Sale stating the date, time and location of the sale in order to give you a final opportunity to buy back the car. Failure to provide you with this notice is a violation of the law.