Has your vehicle been repossessed? Did you walk outside today to find your vehicle is gone? From this point forward what you do after a vehicle repossession is extremely important if you want to secure a legal action against your bank.
Pennsylvania law requires the bank that gave you a vehicle loan to send you notice of the repossession immediately after the repossession happens. The law does not define what “immediately” means, but we usually look for the notice to arrive no later than 10 days to 2 weeks. If the bank does not send you the letter, or if the letter does not contain the required information, then you may be able to sue the bank for a violation of repossession laws.
What you don’t want to do is call the bank to ask about the repossession. While the law is black and white about requiring the bank to send you a repossession letter, if you call the bank, Courts have held that the phone call is enough to place you on notice of the repossession immediately after the repossession. As such, you cannot sue the bank if it never sends you the repossession letter. In other words, your phone call destroys your ability to sue the bank for a bad repossession.
If your vehicle was repossessed, here is what you need to do:
- Note the date and time (time of discovering the repossession) by writing it down.
- Make a list of everything that was in the vehicle with the estimated value of those items.
- Find your finance agreement (Retail Installment Sales Contract) if it wasn’t in the car at the time of the repossession.
- Call an attorney who knows repossession law to start your case evaluation.
Having your vehicle repossessed is extremely difficult and may destroy your life. If the bank doesn’t follow the law, that may be your only hope for redemption. Make sure you don’t reach out to the bank and make it easy on them.