We get a lot of calls from Potential Clients who have suffered from a repossession. The potential client has not been able to keep up with regular monthly payments and the bank sent a tow truck to take the vehicle. While there are not many rights given the you before, during, and after a repossession, Pennsylvania law does provide some very specific protections. There was a Federal Court Opinion released just recently that reaffirms a big issue we commonly see in repossession: Police being called by the repo-man.
This is a common scenario: You hear some noise outside of your house one night. You look outside to find a tow truck in your drive way and a strange man trying to hook up your car. You go outside and tell the repo-man to get off of your property (something you should always do). The man refuses and you try to stop the repossession by sitting in the car. The man calls the police and asks the police to force you out of the car. The police show up and tell you that you have to get out of the car and let the repo-man take your vehicle.
Legally, the police cannot do this unless the repo-man has a court order (which he never does!). The police are not allowed to get involved in matters of breach of contract. The police are supposed to arrive on scene, see that it is safe, and leave. If the police get involved and force you to turn over your vehicle, you now have a claim against the repo-man, the bank, and possibly the police for a breach of the peace.
Before you do anything else, call us. We need to know what happened as close to the actual event so it is fresh in your mind. Don’t call the Bank. Doing so may negate other potential legal cases.