Can a collection agency take your vehicle?

UPDATED: Jan 8, 2012

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Can a collection agency take your vehicle?

Asked on January 8, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are two circumstances under which they can take the vehicle:

1) They are collecting on a debt for the vehicle (e.g. the financing you used to buy it), in which case there is almost certainly a security interest in the car which allows them to repossess in the event of a default. (This would also apply if you used the car as collaterol for a loan.)

2) They sue you on some other debt and win (or someone else sued you and won, and either transferred the debt to the collections agency or hired them to collect on it); you do not pay; they then get a court order enabling them, via the sheriff or a constable, to "execute" on your car--that is, to have it seized and auctioned or sold, and the proceeds applied to the judgment.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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