Ask Andy: your rights in car repossessions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: your rights in car repossessions

(WMC TV) - As economic times get tough -- and it gets tougher to pay the bills -- I inevitably get a lot of questions about car repossessions.

Federal regulations tend to favor the "repo man" over the consumer in terms of what he can and cannot do.

According to the federal General Services Administration (GSA) Citizen Information Center, vehicle repossessors cannot break into a home or garage or physically threaten someone while repossessing a vehicle.  

But they can:

* repossess with cause without any advance notice.

* insist you pay off the entire loan balance before you can get the car back.

* sell the car at auction.

* sue you for the difference between what you owe and how much it was sold at auction.

I share all this to say if you know you're going to be late on a car payment, head it off at the pass. Call your lender immediately and ask to work something out.

If you do work something out, get the plan in writing. So you don't end up running after the repo man.

Some states have their own repossession regulations, some slightly different from federal rules. The following are summaries of where each of the Mid-South's states stand on auto repossession:

Tennessee Auto Repossession Laws

Mississippi Auto Repossession Laws

Arkansas Auto Repossession Laws

Missouri Auto Repossession Laws

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