Legal Question in Consumer Law in Pennsylvania
My car was repossessed this morning at approx 5:15 AM. I heard the noise and went out to speak to the repo man. If I am correct your car cannot be taken in the State of Pennsylvania if it causes a hardship and you tell the repo man he cannot take the vehicle. Even though I told him this that he could not take the vehicle he took it anyway. He also broke the vehicle when he towed it from behind as the car was parked in the drive way with the front end facing away from the street. I
borrowed 11,900 dollars and have paid approx 16500 dollars back on the loan. I have a six year loan and have paid 5 years on the loan. I am three months late. What are my legal options in the State of Pennsylvania?
1 Answer from Attorneys
No you are not correct. The lender is allowed to engage in self-help repossession by hiring a repo man if the item can be taken without a breach of the peace. See 13 Pa.C.S.A. § 9609 Secured party's right to take possession after default
(a) Possession; rendering equipment unusable; disposition on debtor's premises.--After default, a secured party:
(1) may take possession of the collateral; and
(2) without removal, may render equipment unusable and dispose of collateral on a debtor's premises under section 9610 (relating to disposition of collateral after default).
(b) Judicial and nonjudicial process.--A secured party may proceed under subsection (a):
(1) pursuant to judicial process; or
(2) without judicial process if it proceeds without breach of the peace.
There is nothing in there about any hardship and while you were speaking to the repo man, you were not threatening any violence so he was justified in taking the car. There is no 3 month grace period or defense that you have paid most of the loan back. It doesn't work this way. Your options are: (1) see if you can come up with the money to get your car back and pay the amount by which you were behind plus the collection costs IF the lender will permit it; (2) most lenders accelerate the debt which means that the whole balance remaining on the loan is due and payable. Try to come up with the money some how - either borrow from another lender or a family member and pay them back; or (3) file bankruptcy.
If you get the car back then you can worry about going after the repo man for damages.