Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Massachusetts Repossession and High Interest Car Loans

As I have written elsewhere on this blog, the minimum damages under the Massachusetts Commercial Code for a breach of peace during a car repossession are the finance charge for the loan plus 10 percent of the amount of the total loan. When repo agent comes onto your property without your permission and demands and takes your car over your strong objections, you likely have a breach of peace. We get emails all of the time from people with this situation. Often these people are just looking for information and some assurance that the law has been broken. I really do not know why. This knowledge means nothing by itself. Laws do not enforce themselves.
If you've been subject to a car repossession involving a breach of peace, here's the smart thing to do: submit this form to tell us your story. However, the point of the form is to see if you have a good case, and if you do, to bring a lawsuit for wrongful repossession. There are two key points to keep in mind about this:

1. If you do not sue, you will likely be pursued for a car repossession deficiency debt. If the balance of your loan is more than $2,000 when the repossession occurs, you are liable for any deficiency debt.

2. If you do sue, you can likely wipe out the deficiency debt. Moreover, if there is a breach of peace you can recover the minimum damages (noted above). For a high interest car loan, this sum can be substantial. For example, we now have a case involving a $30,000 car loan at a 14 percent interest rate. The car was repossessed. If we are able to show that a breach of peace occurred, the consumer will be entitled to almost $18,000. There are most likely thousands of consumers who unwittingly are entitled to substantial damages based on a wrongful car repossession in Massachusetts.

Bottom line: If you have a case, pursue it diligently. It can mean the difference between you paying money and getting paid money.

* We do not charge you fees. If we agree to take your case, we get paid from the proceeds of settlement or judgment.
* Just coming onto your property without your permission to take the car when you are behind on the loan is usually not enough. To be a good case, normally there must be a confrontation of some sort on your property.