Saturday, December 4, 2010

Repossession and Trespass

I've written about this before. What I'm going to comment on here is one of the most commonly violated laws on the books. It just applies here in Massachusetts. It's this: A car repossession agent cannot come onto property you own or rent without your permission. It almost every state they can, but they cannot here in Massachusetts. The law can be read right here: G.L. 255B, s. 20B.
This matters in two main ways.
1. If a repossession agent violates Section 20B, the car lender cannot collect a deficiency from you. Car repossession deficiencies can be large and can sometimes drive people into bankruptcy. Say you owe $10,000 on your car loan, and after repossession and sale are credited with the car's value of $5,000: You would owe a deficiency of $5,000 plus repossession and storage fees. However, if the repossession agent came onto your driveway without your permission, the law states that they cannot collect this amount from you. This can be a powerful weapon to combat a deficiency lawsuit.
2. If you confronted the repossession agent on your property and objected to the repossession, there may have been a "breach of peace." This is a specialized term in the repossession world and can entitle you to statutory damages. These damages are usually 10 percent of the amount of the car loan plus the interest charged for the loan. For an average car loan, this amount can be sizable.

*Note: If your car has been repossessed in Massachusetts, we might be able to help. However, due to high call volume after I posted information here about Massachusetts car repossession, we must first receive the completed form found here: We will review your matter confidentially and free of charge.