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Asset Repossession: Autos
NJ Auto Repo Attorneys
Our NJ auto repo attorneys represent car leasing and financing companies in actions to repossess cars and trucks throughout the entire State of New Jersey including Bergen County, Essex County, Hudson County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Somerset County, and Union County.
When can a car be repossessed?
A car may be repossessed only if:
- The lender has a valid security interest in the car (meaning that the lender possesses a signed and valid car loan agreement authorizing the lender to repossess the car as collateral for the loan). In New Jersey, a valid security interest means that the lender’s name appears as a lien holder on the motor vehicle certificate.
- The car loan is in default. A loan is in default when the borrower fails to something that the loan agreement requires, such as failure to make monthly payments or maintain insurance coverage.
Does the lender have to warn the borrower before repossessing the car?
No. A lender has no duty to warn a consumer before repossessing a vehicle. If the lender has the right to repossesses the car, then it may take back the car without going to court first. This is called self-help repossession.
What does the lender have to do after the car is repossessed?
After repossession, the lender must provide the borrower with two specific types of written notices.
First Notice: Redemption and Sale
The lender’s first notice must inform the borrower that it has possession of the car and that the car will be sold. The notice must be sent to the owner of the car and all co-buyers or co-signers of the loan. This notice must be provided in a timely manner, giving the borrower and all co-signers a reasonable time to redeem the car before its resale. The right to redeem the car means that the borrower may get the car returned by paying the loan off in full along with the lender’s repossession costs. The notice must also give a contact number where the borrower may call for the exact cost to redeem the car.
You lender must deliver the first notice to the borrower and co-signers at least 10 days before the proposed sale. However, the borrower’s right to redeem lasts until the car is resold. Also, the notice must give details about when and where the sale will be and whether the sale will be public or private. Lenders are required to sell repossessed vehicles in a commercially reasonable manner pursuant to N.J.S.A. 12A: 9-610(b)
Second Notice: Deficiency
After the sale, the lender is required to send out a second notice. This notice must accurately state the amounts that the lender has credited the borrower because of a resale and the cancellation of the sales contract.
Need assistance in repossessing a car or truck in New Jersey? Contact our NJ auto repo attorneys today. One of our experienced lawyers will respond to your inquiry within 24 – 48 hours. If your matter is urgent, please contact us at (201) 498-0400.