Repossession of your Car

Are you behind on a vehicle payment?  Has your lender threatened to repossess the car?  Repossession occurs when a creditor takes back property that was used as collateral or leased in a transaction.  If you are behind on your car note, the bank or third party that financed your vehicle can repossess the vehicle at any time.  Utah  law does not require the lender to give you notice of the repossession.  This “self-help” remedy is a unique legal action because your lender can repossess the vehicle without giving you notice or going to Court.  Although your lender may repossess your car without notice, and without court action, it is not allowed to breach the peace when taking back the property.

If you have recently lost your vehicle to repossession or are concerned about missed payments, it is critical that you contact my office today.


When you purchased your vehicle, you probably signed a purchase contract or credit contract to finance the car. In these types of contracts, the buyer agrees that the seller, also known as the “lienholder,” may repossess the property if the buyer falls behind on payments.  Most lenders allow for a small grace period, which depends on the number of payments already made, the length of the business relationship, and reason for the default.  These contracts may also include fines and penalties the buyer must pay to cover the costs of the repossession, as well as the depreciated value of the vehicle.

When a lender decides to repossess your vehicle, it will usually work with a repossession agent. Most repossession agencies focus on auto repossession.  The agent typically uses a tow truck to repossess the vehicle, although some agencies will notify the owner and try to facilitate an amicable return without any surprises.

Many of our clients have lost their vehicles through the repossession process.  Some of them were only late by a few days.  Small lenders and banks are typically very aggressive and will exercise their repossession rights in a timely fashion.  To avoid this situation, it is critical to call an experienced and knowledgeable Bankruptcy attorney now.


Once your car is repossessed, your options are extremely limited.  You can try to pay the balance owed at that point (which is probably not an option) or you can file an emergency Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.   Unfortunately, time is not on your side once the car is taken.  You only have 10 DAYS after the repossession to file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and save the vehicle.  After this small window expires, the vehicle will be sold at auction.  If the lender fails to recoup the amount owed on the vehicle at auction, you may be responsible for the balance owed.  This debt is considered unsecured, which can be discharged through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

If you want to save your vehicle from repossession, the Law Office of Paul Benson can help.  First, we will need to review your situation and determine if you qualify for Chapter 13 relief.  If so, we will have to file an emergency case, and you will need to purchase or show proof of full insurance coverage .  You may also be responsible for the repossession costs and storage fees.

If your car has already been repossessed and the 10 day window has expired, we can still help you erase the unsecured through chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Call my office today to learn about your options and rights.


Defaulting on your car note could lead to repossession.  This is a serious remedy that can be avoided if you act quickly and contact my office in a timely fashion.  As a Utah Bankruptcy attorney, I can help you save your vehicle through an emergency Chapter 7 filing.  There is no reason to lose your car during a financial crisis.  My law firm understands that bad things happen to good people.  Let me protect you against the harm and damage of repossession.  With my legal assistance, you can bounce back from your situation and keep your car.