Can Repos Happen at Night? What to Expect Before, During and After a Repossession

Repossessions, also known as repos, can happen at any time of day or night, catching borrowers off guard. Whether you’re at the supermarket, taking your kids to school, visiting relatives for a holiday dinner, or even asleep at home, your vehicle may be subject to repossession if you fall behind on your auto loan payments. It’s crucial to understand the process and be prepared for the possibility of a repo, even if it never happens at a convenient time.

Before a Repossession

If you anticipate a repossession may occur, it’s essential to prepare yourself mentally and logistically. Reach out to family, friends, and neighbors for help with carpools, babysitting, and other daily tasks that may be affected by the loss of your vehicle. Arrange for grocery and medication deliveries if needed. Clean out your car and gather important documents, such as your loan agreement, vehicle registration, and insurance information, in case the repo happens unexpectedly.

During a Repossession

When a repossession occurs, the lender will hire a repossession company to retrieve the vehicle. The repo agent cannot use physical force, threaten you, or enter your property without permission. If you believe the repo was mishandled, document the event with written statements, photographs, and witness accounts. Request a police presence to keep the peace, but be aware that the police may not intervene unless a breach of the peace occurs.

After a Repossession

After your vehicle has been repossessed, you may have the opportunity to get it back by paying off the outstanding balance, including any fees and expenses incurred by the lender. If you can’t afford to redeem the vehicle, the lender will typically sell it at an auction. You may be responsible for any deficiency balance, which is the difference between what you owe on the loan and what the vehicle sells for at auction.

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