When you take out a car loan, you sign an agreement to pay back the loan in installments. During this time, the lending company owns the car, and you will not truly own it until you pay off the loan. Any time you fall behind on payments, the lender has the right to take back the car. This is called repossession. If you find yourself in this position, you need to know about Georgia repossession laws.
Car Repossession in Georgia
What are the repo laws in Georgia? The first thing people want to know about repossession is how many payments you need to miss before your car is repossessed. According to the State of Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, the company can technically repo the car if you are as little as one day late, but many companies will try to work it out with you to get caught up. In most cases, it is risky to let the lapse go beyond one month in missed payments.
If the lender decides to repossess your car, you need to be aware that they are allowed to come onto private property to do this. According to Upsolve.org, they can take your car as long as they do not disturb the peace. They cannot enter a garage to repossess your car. You need to be aware that it is illegal to hide your car to avoid repossession in the state of Georgia.
The best way to avoid car repossession is to find a way to catch up on the payments and get back on track. If you cannot do this, you might want to contact an attorney and see if filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy might help you keep your vehicle. In some cases, if your situation is temporary, you might also be able to get another loan to bridge a shortfall.
Avoiding Repossession in Georgia
If you have missed a payment, you need to contact your lender to avoid car repossession in Georgia, cautions the Federal Trade Commission. It is important not to avoid calls or letters and speak to them and try to work something out.
You must not promise to make a payment if you cannot do it. It is a good idea to try to work out an agreement with the lender that you can stick to and avoid repossession in Georgia if at all possible.
Getting Your Car Back
If you have lost your car to repossession, then you will receive a Georgia 10-day repossession letter. This letter will give you 10 days to pay the loan in full.
The Georgia 10-day repossession letter will tell you what you need to pay to get your car back. It will reflect any costs associated with the repossession itself and any additional costs that are needed to get the car back and the loan reinstated. After the period in the Georgia 10-day repossession letter has passed, your car will be sold at auction.
You will receive a letter stating how much you still owe on the loan. This amount will be the amount still owed on the loan minus what the car brought at auction. You will be expected to pay this amount. Under Georgia repossession laws, they can sue you for it.
Georgia repossession laws are clear when you are behind on a car loan. A Georgia car repossession will harm your credit score and your ability to take out additional loans in the future. It is always best to pay your loans on time, but if you have fallen behind, then it is good to know what you can expect and how to avoid it if possible.
Adam Luehrs is a writer during the day and a voracious reader at night. He focuses mostly on finance writing and has a passion for real estate, credit card deals, and investing.