Can an attorney who is collecting a debt for a credit card company, take my car and sell it to paythe debt?

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Can an attorney who is collecting a debt for a credit card company, take my car and sell it to paythe debt?

I owed $13,000 on a credit card. After months of trying to work out payments with the credit card company and collection agency, and doing everything else I could (I was unemployed and so was my husband), an Attorney sent the local sheriff to my house to collect or take my car. He took my car – had it towed right out of my garage. He was banging on my front door, which really scared me, threatened to come in, which I had no problem with that, and was mean and a jerk. Can they do this? I owned my car outright, no payments.

Asked on May 29, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your collection agency or your credit card company actually had a judgment against you and then obtained a lien on your car, then yes, anyone representing either of those entities who has the lien on you can repossess the vehicle. If this is not the case and you did not pledge the car as collateral as a method to secure the credit card, then the attorney had no right to take your vehicle. Further, the attorney's actions (as an attorney or as an entity who could be considered an agent of the creditor) could be violative of attorney ethics rules in your state or as the agent of the creditor violative of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.


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