What are my rights regarding the personal property contained in my vehicle when it was repossessed?

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What are my rights regarding the personal property contained in my vehicle when it was repossessed?

Our vehicle was reposseseds yesterday. The used car dealer says that we have to pay the past due balance and the repo fee if we want our personal property, however, he said he wants to be reasonable and will return the cell phone, wallet and keys but the tools, GPS, and other items he can hold for up to 45 days. Is this true?

Asked on August 28, 2010 under General Practice, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here is what it says on the website for the State of Florida Attorney General's Office: "Regardless of whatever method is used to dispose of the repossessed vehicle, a creditor may not keep or sell any personal property found inside. This does not include most improvements made to the car, such as a stereo or luggage rack. If your creditor cannot account for valuable articles left in your car, you may be entitled to compensation and you should consult with an attorney."  So what "other items" is he talking about and where did he come up with the 45 days? You are either entitled or not entitled to repossession.  I would contact the Attorney General's Office and speak with someone about the specifics of the articles that you are worried about.  And then consult with an attorney if you need.  Good luck.


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