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Illinois Repossession Laws

Posted by attorney James Brown

When you are under crushing amounts of debt, you may be looking at some serious consequences. Your creditors will do almost anything to get paid on the debt owed to them, including garnish your wages, levy your bank accounts and harass you over the phone until you turn over any penny you may have. If you are behind on your car, however, you could be looking at repossession. What is repossession? If you default on your car loan by missing payments, the lender typically has the power to take back your car under state law. Sometimes, a lender will not immediately take your car after one late or missed payment but they may have the right to do so. In Illinois, the lender can take your car without prior notice and without getting a court order. There must, however, be a written agreement that says the lender can repossess the car if you don’t pay. When the repo man shows up to take your car, your natural reaction may be, ‘Hey! You can’t do that!’ And, in some instances, you’d be right. Repossession may potentially be unlawful if…

  • If you are not in default, meaning you are current on all payments, you have not violated your agreement and therefore cannot have your car repossessed.
  • If the creditor does not have a valid claim to the car, it cannot be repossessed.
  • If certain threats are made or property is damaged or broken into, the repo man can’t take your car.

There is another way to get your car back after repossession. A Missouri or Illinois bankruptcy will help you get your car back, keep it, and get a handle on the rest of your debt.

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