Can NC repo company charge me to get MY personal property out of the car and my tags?

Asked over 3 years ago - Maiden, NC

Ok, no one likes repo companies. Here is my question.... the repo company came and got my car.
They did not notify me are or have the courtesy of knocking on my door ( not saying they were obligated).
Once we were finally given the limited information, we contacted the repo co. (NC).
All we were met with is MAJOR attitude!! All we needed to know was where the car was so we could remove MY property. My son and I are disabled and my handicap things are in my car, along with my tags, and my personal property. They (repo co) are saying I HAVE to pay a fee and i HAVE to bring the key (if they would have knocked on the door, I would have gotten my things out and given them the key). They will not even give me the address. Can they legally do this????

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Harry Clayton Marsh

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . Yes, I believe they can charge you to get to the contents of your car

    I don't believe they're allowed to charge to return your contents, per say
    What they're doing is charging you a 'gate fee' (typically), where they're allowed to charge a reasonable fee for the storage of your vehicle (and its contents)

    However, I don't believe they're allowed to not give the address. The car might be theirs, but the contents are NOT theirs.

    You should probably go through the lender. Call them. You'll have to go through the whole speech about whether you can pay it off, etc. They'll talk to you for a few minutes.
    Insist on asking where the car is being held. They'll tell you which repo place took it and where the car is being held (eventually). Keep asking for that information.

    So, to answer your question: depends on how much they're trying to charge you. $50? Probably reasonable. $500? I'd go to court over something like that. It's not reasonable and more of a penalty

    I'm not an expert in this field and suggest consulting a local attorney if there are further questions

  2. Suzanne R. Begnoche

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . I am sorry to hear about your situation. I have encountered this numerous times in my law practice. The repo company cannot keep your personal property, and cannot charge you to retrieve your personal property. They only have the right to keep the vehicle and the items that are attached to the vehicle in such a manner as to become "affixed" to the vehicle. For example, if you have installed a wheelchair lift on the vehicle, a court might consider this to be "affixed" to the vehicle. However, a wheelchair sitting inside the vehicle is not.

    A repo company who tries to charge you to retrieve your personal property may be liable for unfair and deceptive trade practices and conversion (a civil court claim for theft). You could try reporting the company to law enforcement and asking for assistance retrieving the property; unfortunately, law enforcement often considers this a "gray area" and will tell you you need to bring a civil lawsuit. If that happens, then you can take the small claims court route. Court staff can provide you with the paperwork you need to fill out for small claims. You could also try calling Legal Aid of North Carolina (www.legalaidnc.org) to see if they could provide free legal assistance.

    (The attorney responding is licensed only in the state of North Carolina. This response does NOT constitute legal advice and does NOT create an attorney/ client relationship! Rather, the response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Although a response is provided to the specific question, there may be other facts and law relevant to the issue that the questioner has left out and which would make the reply unsuitable. Therefore, the questioner should not base any decision on the answer, but should confer with an attorney in person about the specifics of his or her case.)

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