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Repossession: Can a creditor really take my property?

If you find yourself in a position in which you are overrun by debt and unable to manage your payments, you have probably already started receiving phone calls from creditors and letters in the mail demanding payment. Some of these letters and calls may be to inform you that your creditors have initiated the repossession process, which is the process of reclaiming financed property. 

You may assume that repossession always involves the confiscation of a vehicle, but that is not always the case. There are several other types of property that may be subject to repossession, and you would be wise to apprise yourself of your rights, as well as the right of a Wisconsin creditor to take this course of action.

What you need to know about repossession

Repossession is the process of reclaiming financed property because the possessor defaulted on the loan. You may be surprised to learn that a creditor can actually do this, but chances are that this was included in your contract, and you agreed to this right when you signed. If you are receiving notices of repossession on your vehicle or other type of property, you may find it useful to understand how this process works:

  • A creditor has the right to initiate the repossession process as soon as an account goes into delinquency.
  • While creditors do have the right to repossess property, they may not break the law or come onto your private property to do so.
  • Often, creditors use third parties, sometimes called repo men, to repossess property.
  • The creditor does not need a court order to repossess your property.
  • A person repossessing on behalf of a creditor has the right to take a vehicle when parked on a street, in a driveway, in a lot or in a public area.

A threat of repossession is a threat to your personal property and your right to drive. While it is a daunting prospect, there are ways that you can make this process stop.

The benefits of the automatic stay

In your situation, it may be advantageous to consider the benefits of filing for bankruptcy. This process can not only help you deal with your debt once and for all, it will enact the automatic stay. The automatic stay goes into effect when you file, halting all further contact from creditors and stopping all collections efforts, including repossession.

Bankruptcy offers you the opportunity to build a stronger financial future by eliminating or paying off debt. If you think you may lose your vehicle or have no way to deal with your debt on your own, you may benefit from an explanation of the benefits of this process.

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