The Roper Law Firm


Caution: IF you have a finance contract that specifies payment by a certain time AND your payment is late AND your property is repossessed then you probably do not have a wrongful repossession under Georgia law unless the repossession company or creditor has violated some non-contract right you have.

If you get assurances that you can extend the due date or defer payment from the creditor you must get that in writing AND approved by someone who has that authority. Otherwise, your attorney may be useful in negotiating an end to your problem but not seeking damages, however...

Many repossession companies conduct themselves in a manner that indicates they believe they have a right to repossess the car, truck, boat or other item of value at all cost and without liability on their part.

Simply put, repossession companies are legally held to a standard which limits their authority and prohibits certain actions at any point during any and all attempts to repossess the item of value involved.

If the repossession company, loan company, or any person acting on behalf of the repossession company or loan company performs any wrongdoing or unlawful action at any time during the course of the repossession process, the repossession company or loan company may lose some or all of their legal rights against you. Some act of wrongdoing or unlawful actions could also provide you the ability to get your car, truck, boat or other item of value back.

  • Under the law, if the car, truck, boat, or other item of value that was repossessed and contained personal items or professional materials, the repossession company or loan company must give these items back to you. You may be expected to pay a small charge for their retrieval. Failure to provide these items back to you may result in criminal charges of petit or grand theft against the individuals directly involved in the act of the repossession.
  • It may also be unlawful for a repossession company to enter into a restricted area to perform an act of repossessing your car, boat, or other item of value. Examples of an unlawful entry for the purposes of repossession may include, but are not limited to restricted areas of any airport without the airports permission, restricted areas of any government facility without the government facilities permission, illegally gaining entry into the garage of your home or the home of another person, illegally moving another vehicle, boat, or other item of value that blocked or made the act of repossession unable to perform. In other words, a repossession company or loan company has no legal authority to touch any car, boat, or other item of value that is not the item that they are trying to repossess.
  • While a repossession company may come on your property to perform a lawful act of repossession, they may not threaten you or use force against you. The exception to the use of force is if they are acting in defense of his or her own physical safety against acts of force against him or her.
  • You are not required to open a garage, move a vehicle that is blocking the ability to lawfully conduct an act of a repossession.
  • You are not required to unlock a vehicle that they are trying to repossess.
  • AFTER repossession the loan company associated with the repossession must inform you as to their intent to sell the car, boat, or other item of value that has been repossessed in public or private auction if the lender expects to collect a deficiency balance (amount of loan left after the sale) from you.  In some cases, if the loan company did not have a legal right to repossess the car, truck, boat, or other item of value you may have a rights to seek compensation and/or damages against the loan company.

While many repossessions involve heated vocal disputes, it is extremely important to refrain from performing any verbal or physical threats, or from performing any unlawful action. You do have rights, but the individuals performing an act of repossession do as well.

If you have been the victim of a Wrongful or Illegal Repossession, find out what your legal rights are by contacting The Roper Law Firm  at 706.596.5353.

Attorney, John W. Roper is an experienced Wrongful and Illegal Repossession, and Consumer Protection Lawyer providing professional legal services in serving in middle and northwestern Georgia counties, the Federal Middle and Northern District Courts of Georgia, and Georgia's Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.