Repossession Laws in Maine

••• truck image by berean from Fotolia.com

Creditors usually differ from debt collectors. When someone borrows money using collateral, the creditor may seize that collateral if the borrower goes into default. Often, creditors hire third party repossession companies to obtain the goods. These repossession companies must follow certain laws. Each state, including Maine, has their own repossession laws.

Licensure

Any repossession company operating in Maine, repossessing goods bought in Maine, must acquire a license with the Maine Bureau of Consumer Protection. The licenses cost $400 in 2010 and last for two years. All applicants go through criminal record checks as part of the licensing process. Once approved, the company must display the license in a conspicuous place in their office, according to the state of Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection.

Notice of Right to Cure Default

In the state of Maine, creditors must issue a notice of right to cure default letter giving the borrower 14 days to pay all back payments. This occurs only after the borrower misses a regular payment. The creditor only has to prove they sent the letter. The letter doesn’t physically have to make it to the borrower if an address changed or if the borrower doesn’t accept registered mail.

Keep Peace

Repossession companies must maintain the peace when seizing property. This means they cannot repossess if they must enter the home to do so. Also, if the property owner tells the repossession team to leave, they must leave, says the state of Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection.

Sale

After the repossession of goods, the creditor must send the borrower the date, place and time of the public or private sale for the collateral, according to the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. If the borrower wants the goods back, they must pay the full balance of the loan and creditor expenses for repossession.

Sale Proceeds

If the goods sell at a public or private sale, the state of Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection says the proceeds must first pay the cost of repossession and sale preparation. Any remaining money goes toward paying down the debt. The borrower must pay the remainder left on the debt after sale proceeds. If the sale leaves an excess of money, the extra money goes to the original borrower.