Keeping up with expenses can be stressful. Some consumers may use title loans to raise emergency funds but find themselves in a tough spot when those loan payments add up. No one wants to lose their car because of a title loan repossession, but it’s best to be prepared and understand your choices.
Can you get your car back after repossession?
Lenders want to receive the money they lend people with interest. A repossession hurts you and the lender because the borrower loses the car, and the lender gets stuck with a depreciating asset. It’s often in the lender’s best interest to work out a deal with a borrower toget out of repossession.
How to get back a repossessed car
It’s possible to reclaim your repossessed car. Following these steps could help reunite you with your vehicle.
1. Understand why your car was repossessed
It’s important for car owners in this situation to assess how they got there before moving forward or rushing into a solution.
Cars can get repossessed if borrowers cannot keep up with loan payments. Some borrowers take on too much debt from title loans to cover short-term expenses.
It’s also a good idea to consider why you needed a title loan in the first place. Understanding how you got here increases the chances of never being in a similar situation again.
2. Review your loan agreement and determine whether there are any options for reinstatement
Each lender is different and these agreements will lay out the options you can use to reinstate the loan if any choices exist.
3. Contact the lender and discuss a reinstatement or redemption agreement
After finding details in the loan agreement, the next step is reaching out to your lender. Let the representative know that you want to get back on the loan and reclaim your vehicle. Some lenders may view this arrangement as an opportunity to increase their earnings through interest, and you could get your car back.
4. Negotiate a repayment plan or refinance the loan
You may have to negotiate a payment plan or agree to refinance the loan. Refinancing the loan could minimize your monthly payments by increasing the loan’s duration depending on your situation and the lender.
5. Be prepared to pay outstanding fees or charges before the lender releases your vehicle
Fees and charges could continue to accumulate even if you stop paying the loan. You will have to address these expenses before the lender releases your vehicle. it is a good idea to ask later in the conversation if they’re not brought up.
6. Keep the lines of communication open to avoid future repossession
If you get out of repossession and reclaim your vehicle, you don’t want to fall back into it. Communicating with your lender and making on-time payments will improve your standing and get you closer to removing the debt from your car.
7. Seek professional advice
A professional can guide you during the process. Advice isn’t necessary for everyone navigating a repossession, but if you believe something was off with the repossession or you want to make sure certain car repossession loopholes are not legit, it is best to contact a professional that can help.
Whether or Not You Should Get Your Repossessed Car Back
Getting back a repossessed car can fill you with excitement, but you shouldn’t rush to reclaim your vehicle. If you still cannot keep up with loan payments, your car could get repossessed again. The costs you incurred to reclaim your vehicle and maintain it would represent sunk costs. You will also have to contend with the expenses of car ownership, such as gas, car insurance, and maintenance. It may also be worth getting a cheaper, older model to save money.
Take Necessary Precautions to Avoid Future Repossessions
You can use these tactics to help avoid this situation in the future.
Stay on top of payments
Keeping on top of loan payments prevents a default from happening. But it’s not only your loan payments. Your other expenses impact your ability to keep up with car loan payments. Reviewing your payments across the board can help you avoid late payments and accumulating debt.
Communicate with your lender
Your lender wants to guide you on the journey to making on-time payments and getting out of debt. Talk with your lender to see how they can help. Asking questions and keeping communications open can help if you need to renegotiate the loan.
Refinance the loan
If available, refinancing lets you spread your loan’s remaining balance across more intervals. Adding more years to the backend of the loan could reduce your monthly payments.
Sell the car
Selling the car can help you get out of the loan. You can use the proceeds from the sale to repay the balance and never worry about monthly loan payments again. But if the car’s sale value falls below the loan’s balance, you will have to pay the gap. If you owe $30,000 on a car loan and sell your vehicle for $25,000, you still owe $5,000 on the loan.
Voluntarily surrender the car
Surrendering the car can reduce the loan’s balance or even eliminate it depending on the difference between the car’s value and the loan’s balance. If you do not make the remaining payments, your debt could go to a collection agency.
Know Your Choices
Regardless of what you do, you still owe the debt and must pay it. Knowing your options can help you approach this stressful situation from a position of confidence. You may decide to sell your vehicle, opt for another model, or renegotiate with your lender. You will feel better when you pay off the title loan, and it all starts with the first step.
What should I do first after my car has been repossessed?
Contact the title loan lender as soon as possible to discuss the repossession and inquire about the outstanding balance on the loan.
How long do I have to retrieve my car after it has been repossessed?
Agreements vary. Laws can also depend on the specific state you are in. However, in most cases you will have between 10 to 30 days to retrieve a car and reinstate the loan. Make sure to check with your lender for their specific policies. but most lenders give you 15 days to retrieve a car and reinstate the loan in the process.
Will a car repossession affect my credit score?
The loan default and missing payments could hurt your score.