If you’ve defaulted on your car loan, the repo man has every right to come and get your vehicle. Still, that won’t stop you from trying to learn how to hide your car from repossession. There are some car repossession loopholes that might help you out temporarily.
In this guide, we look at a few ways to hold off repossession. We also examine how you can stop the repossession process and talk about the legality of the situation you find yourself in.
There’s even an informative section showing you what the repossession company is allowed to do, so you gain a better understanding of the process. First let’s take a look at the legal part.
Is It Legal to Hide Your Car From Repossession?
You might think you have gotten away with something by hiding the car from repossession. While your hard work can help in the short term, it’s not going to provide a long-term solution to your problem.
Once the creditor can’t get their car back, papers will be filed with the local court. You will be forced to turn the vehicle over to the company.
If you fail to comply with this court judgment, you could get into a lot of trouble. Not only could you face fines and penalties, but you might also end up with charges of theft on your record. This is far worse than simply dealing with repossession on your credit report, so don’t engage in illegal activities. You will find another means of transportation. Even if you have to take a bus, it’s better than sitting in a jail cell.
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How to Avoid Car Repossession
1. Get Current with Loan
The best way to stop repossession is to get current with your auto loan. If you can catch up on the payments, the lender will stop the repossession process.
Most lenders will reinstate your loan because it saves them money, but you still want to check with them first. In some cases, you might be responsible for a few extra fees.
2. Negotiate with Lender
If you can’t pay the bill up to date, you may still have some options. Your lender might be willing to negotiate the terms with you. Why would the creditor do this? In some cases, it saves them money versus paying for the repossession.
There are lenders that will extend the terms or create a way to lower the payments. It never hurts to ask.
If the payments have become unaffordable, you might be able to refinance the loan. A more affordable agreement could make it possible for you to keep your vehicle.
In many cases, you can only refinance the car if you are up-to-date on payments, so don’t let it default if this is what you want to do. However, keep in mind that refinancing can ding your credit report, but not nearly as much as repossession.
4. Sell Your Vehicle
If you can get more money for your vehicle than is owed, you should consider selling it. While you won’t be able to keep the car with this option, it gets you out from underneath the control of the bank.
Pay off the loan with the money you make and use the rest to get into something more affordable. By doing so, you avoid having the repossession on your credit history.
Ways to Hide Your Car from Repossession
You can lock up the car in your garage or exchange it with a friend or family member. You may also want to remove the GPS tracker in the vehicle or sell the car. However, if there’s a court order requiring you to surrender the vehicle, you can’t legally hide it from repossession.
1. Lock it Away
The best way to ensure the repo man can’t get your car is to lock it away somewhere safe. You might choose to put it in your garage because they can’t get to it without breaking in, which is illegal. However, you must make sure the garage door is always closed and locked.
If you don’t have a garage, you might have other options. You can park it in a gated community or behind a chained fence. Unless someone else gives the repossession company permission to come on the premises, they won’t be able to get to the car.
2. Exchange with a Loved One
If you have a friend or family member that will trade cars with you, this could buy you some time. Just remember that GPS tracking can show the repossession company where your vehicle is, so this fix might not last for long.
If you don’t have a garage, you might prefer to swap vehicles with your neighbor. Maybe they will let you park your car in their garage next door.
3. Remove GPS Tracker
Many newer cars come with a tracker on them so they can be easily found if stolen. However, the repossession company also gains access to this data, making it easier to locate the vehicle.
If you are confident that you want to remove the GPS monitoring, you need to first locate it. Look through the owner’s manual or search online based on what type of vehicle you drive. Once the GPS tracker is removed, make sure your car is parked in a safe environment, preferably in a garage.
4. Sell the Car
If you can’t make the loan payment, but you don’t want the repossession on your record, consider selling the vehicle. When the sale brings enough money to pay off the loan, you can pay what’s owed and get out from under the repossession.
Even if you have to sell the car and put it in a little extra to get current, you will be happy that this isn’t on your record. Additionally, you’ll avoid any extra charges that come with repossession.
When Can Your Car Be Repossessed?
If you are going to hide your car from the repossession professionals, you must understand how they work. All agents are required to follow state and local laws, which can vary based on where you live. For that reason, it’s best to research how things run in your region. Beyond that, most repossession agents can do the following without the right of the law:
- Learn your regular schedule and watch you to figure out where the vehicle is.
- Visit friends and family who may be holding the car for you.
- Repossess the vehicle from a public location, even at your work or while you are in a store.
- Take your vehicle from your driveway or whichever driveway you have parked it.
- Remove the vehicle from private property as long as no laws are broken and there aren’t any threats made.
You may be able to hide the vehicle from the creditor and still have to turn it in. If your creditor decides to take you to court, the judge could order you to turn over the car to the agency. For this reason, you won’t be able to hide the car from repossession indefinitely.