While the lender has a right to repossess collateral when you default on a loan, you also have rights. The law in Massachusetts has clauses that seek to protect consumers from unfair procedures that could be legal in other states. Lenders must follow the proper procedures if they want to lawfully take back property from a customer in default.
One of the most important practices of repossession is written notifications and time. If you are notified on time and given time to take action to protect the property, you can stop repossession in Massachusetts. Dedicated Plymouth bankruptcy attorneys can explain your options and represent you when needed.
What is the Best Way to Avoid a Repossession in Massachusetts?
The best way to avoid losing a property to lenders is to catch up on your repayments. If you resume your repayment plan within ten (10) days, you might not even get a notice for repossession. But even if ten (10) days pass and you are notified of repossession, you can still catch up on the payments.
A notice should give you 21 days to make repayments, and the counting begins on the day it is sent. However, you don’t have to count the days because the due date should be indicated on the notice. The amount due should also be indicated on the document for you to decide how much you want to start paying.
Can I Get My Car Back After Repossession?
Failure to repay the money owed even after receiving notice can lead to car repossession in Massachusetts. However, you can still get your vehicle back if you act fast. For instance, the lender should give you 20 days to pay back the money and take back your vehicle.
Apart from the remaining amount on loan, you might have to pay for the cost of repossession, storage, and towing. And if your car had personal property inside, the lender might also charge a reasonable fee for holding them for you.
Can I Get My Property Back Following a Wrong Repossession Procedure?
Unlike in other states, a repo agent in Massachusetts cannot randomly come to your residence and repossess your property. It is also unlawful for them to breach the peace in an attempt to take the car. Be aware of repo companies that might coerce you into compliance.
An illegal repossession involving threats might warrant compensation from the repo company. You could get 10% of the principal amount and not less than the finance charge for the property loan. This could be a lot of money. Therefore, if you suspect a breach of peace in the repossession process, consider discussing it with your experienced Massachusetts repossession lawyers.
What Happens if I Have Missed Payments in the Past?
It might be difficult to convince a lender to reinstate your loan if you have a history of missed payments. In such a case, seasoned Massachusetts repossession lawyers can explain other alternatives worth exploring.
Apart from loan reinstatement, you have a right to repay the remaining loan amount. But this is not sometimes possible, especially on short notice. You can also explore the bankruptcy option if you want the property back.
How Can Bankruptcy Protect Me From Losing My Property?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one of the ways to get your repossessed property back. Skilled Massachusetts repossession lawyers can help you develop a manageable repayment plan to prevent you from losing your car.
You will, however, have to repay all past due amounts and continue making the current amounts on time. However, note that bankruptcy might not be a good idea in all circumstances. Sometimes, it is better to let the car go. A knowledgeable repossession attorney in Plymouth can advise on whether Chapter 13 is a viable option for you.
When is it Advisable to Let the Property Go?
Property on the verge of repossession isn’t always worth fighting for. For instance, a car so deeply under water could be better off being let go. You can decide to take it back to the lender through voluntary repossession if they haven’t come for it already. Make sure you take back your plates and record the entire process for your own records.
Note that the lender might still try to recover the deficiency amount from you, which is the difference between the property value and the loan amount. However, the lender has no right to recover the difference if it is less than $2,000. You could, after that, file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy to take care of the deficiency debt.
When Do I Need a Lawyer?
An attorney might sound like a luxury you do not need when dealing with multitudes of financial problems. Depending on the circumstances, you can retain one on a contingency basis. For instance, when you think that:
- Your community’s peace was breached during a repossession
- The repossession procedure was unlawful
- You received the notice after repossession
Note that a review of the repossession notice might not cost you any legal fees since most attorneys in Massachusetts do it for free. The initial consultation to discuss a possible unlawful repossession process might also be free.
You might think you cannot afford a skilled lawyer until you reach out to one. If they find that you have a case worth pursuing, they can represent you at no cost unless you win compensation from the lender or repossession company.
Attorneys Helping You Regain Financial Freedom
Consumers have several options to stop a looming repossession. Though, sometimes, it is advisable to let go of the property depending on the situation. You can also seek justice if you realize that the right procedure was not followed in the process.
Not knowing your options can predispose you to bad decisions that might not have positive results. Our attorneys can advise on choices that would help you regain financial freedom and get it back on track. Speak to us today to discuss your concerns.