When a person buys a vehicle they usually get a loan for the purchase. This loan is called a secure loan and the vehicle is used as collateral for the loan. What this means is that if the person fails to pay their loan the lender can reposes the vehicle and sell it to pay off the loan. Repossession is part of the law and can happen without any interference by the courts.
Repossession occurs when you are in default on your loan. You should read your contract very carefully to ensure you understand the terms and that you know exactly what default is defined as. This way should you ever be at risk at defaulting on your loan you can take action before repossession occurs.
One a repossession occurs it is very difficult to get the vehicle back. The best thing to do is avoid the repossession in the first place. If you are going to be late in making a payment or can not make a payment it is always best to contact the lender. They will usually be willing to work with you.
That is because even once they repossess the vehicle and resell it, they will not likely get all the money owed to them. Vehicles depreciate or go down in value once they drive off the dealers lot, so they will never be worth as much as the original loan amount.
Repossession can occur at any time once you have defaulted. Many repossessions take place at night or early in the morning when your vehicle is assured to be at home. They will simply tow away your vehicle and are not by law required to even contact you.
If you know repossession is imminent you can voluntarily return your vehicle. The only benefits of this option are that you will reduce the cost to you. During a repossession the lender will charge you the cost they incurred to actually repossess the vehicle. You will basically be saving yourself a little money by turning the vehicle in yourself.
Once the vehicle has been repossessed the lender will either resell it or keep it. They have to inform you of what is taking place. They also have to give you the option of getting your vehicle back. If the lender does sell the vehicle you are then responsible for any amount of your debt that was not paid through the sale of the vehicle.
Repossession is something you should avoid at all costs. It is not pleasant and leaves a terrible mark on your credit, making future vehicle purchases difficult, if not impossible. You should try everything possible to avoid repossession.
Most importantly, when you get the loan you should ensure you can afford it and if you ever experience problems keep communication open with your lender. You may be able to avoid repossession if you do this.