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Repossession

Discussion in 'Auto Loans & Vehicle Repossession' started by tsmith58, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. tsmith58

    tsmith58 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    I signed a lease agreement in 2016 for a vehicle in California and the vehicle was repossessed in 2018. I maintained open communication with the finance company in regards to my financial position and inability to pay the full monthly amount. They declined my offer and voluntary repossession and suggested I sell the vehicle. I was unsuccessful in selling the vehicle and soon found out they took measures to repossess the vehicle.

    According to the Department of Consumer Affairs in the state of California, the vehicle was illegally repossessed from a private and secured area. The company that repossessed the vehicle is located in California, however they are no longer licensed and have consolidated with another organization. The company that hired the repossession company is located in Texas and the company that financed the vehicle is located in New York. However, I no longer reside in the state of California.

    1. Do I have a case to recoup cost or expenses associated with the loss of this vehicle?
    2. What are the statue of limitations?
    3. If I have a case, what state do I pursue this in?
    4. Are there additional factors that I must consider? If so, please explain.


    Thank you . . .ts
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You have the right to sue anyone to seek any remedy available to you.

    That depends on what remedy you're seeking.
    It also depends on the "theory" of your case.



    According to your recitation of events, I suspect you'd have to pursue the matter in CA.

    Your lease contract provides you with available methods to settle disputes.
    More than likely it limits your ability to pursue dispute resolution to mediation or arbitration.
    If that is what the contract says, you can forget suing anyone before a court fo law.
    You'll have to seek your remedy in arbitration or mediation.
    Read your contract know for sure.

    I just did in my response directly before this response.
     
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  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Exactly how did they get it out of that "private and secured area"?

    Your answer to that has a lot to do with whether you have any recourse.
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    From what you describe I am not sure you could reasonably argue any damages as a result of the reposession.
    The car was a lease and did not belong to you. You were not paying for the car. That the repo may have been done improperly does not mean you have damages. The time to address this was at the time the car was taken, but since the car was not yours there really is no reason to. You have nothing to gain from this.
     
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  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    @tsmith58 - I'd also like to know the answer to these questions. You've come to the conclusion that the repo was illegal, but it likely was not.
     
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  6. tsmith58

    tsmith58 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That is what I do not know. It was parked in a gated community that requires a pass code only held by tenants to enter, however, there is no code required to exit. I was asleep, all I heard was the alarm going off and the next thing the car was gone. I contacted the authorities and they said it had been a repossession.
     
  7. tsmith58

    tsmith58 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes that is true, they are the legal owners of the vehicle, however, there is a contract between the borrower and the finance company that requires both parties to abide by. There are also legal laws to protect the consumer and finance company in this matter.
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Then what the repo man did was wait until somebody drove out and he drove in before the gate closed.

    Might have violated community rules but there was nothing illegal about the repo itself.
     
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  9. tsmith58

    tsmith58 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Might have violated community rules but there was nothing illegal about the repo itself.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Gate codes are usually given to local first responder agencies (as in police, fire, sheriff, ambulance/EMT, fire, etc...) by the management of the various communities.

    Those codes aren't all that secret, as residents often give one to pizza/food delivery personnel, FedEx, UPS, USPS, Uber, Lyft, taxi companies, various home delivery services/servicers, school bus drivers, and in some communities people monitor police radios where you can hear the "911" operator relay the codes to police/sheriff as they respond the residences.

    The codes should be secret, but if one person tells another person, the secret is out.

    In many communities "repo" and bail agents obtain those codes through various and sundry ways.
     
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  11. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    lol....Your post made me think of this old commercial. Hold on to your seat and prepare for a Blast From The Past!!!!


     
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  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I remember that, too funny!
     
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  13. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Please explain exactly what this means. Why did someone from the Department of Consumer Affairs review and opine about your particular situation? Or do you mean that you read something at a website that led you to reach a conclusion of illegality?

    As for your questions:

    1. Unlikely, but depends on how you respond to my questions above and on what exactly happened.
    2. The statute of limitations for breach of written contract is 4 years.
    3. California.
    4. We know no facts about your situation beyond those you shared with us.
     
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  14. tsmith58

    tsmith58 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    [/QUOTE]
    lol, too hilarious!
     
  15. tsmith58

    tsmith58 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The law I am referencing from the DOCA is mentioned below however, since I am not a lawyer and this may only apply to conducting business, my interpretation may be inaccurate.
    Business and Professions Code Repossessors
    Article 9. Prohibited Acts and Citations
    The director may assess administrative fines for any of the following prohibited acts:
    Unlawfully entering any private building or secured area without the consent of the owner, or of the person in legal possession thereof, at the time of repossession. The fine shall be five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation.
     
  16. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    The lot you describe is "publicly accessible". The repo was legal.

    EDIT: Let me restate that. The repossession was not illegal based on that point. I can't speak to any other possible improper actions. You are free to speak to an attorney about this matter. Your favorite internet search engine will yield tons of options.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  17. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    When you include a quote in a response, please don't type your response within the quoted material. That makes it tough to see that you've added something.

    This is a reference to Article 9 of Chapter 11 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code (and more particularly, section 7508.2), and I assume it means that, contrary to what you first wrote, the DOCA did not review and opine about your particular situation.

    Getting back to the first question in your original post, you asked if you "have a case to recoup cost or expenses associated with the loss of this vehicle?" The answer to that question is no. For starters, there's no indication in anything you posted that you suffered any "costs or expenses associated with the loss of this vehicle." Moreover, any costs or expenses incurred were almost certainly a result of your failure to pay as agreed, which justified the repossession. If, in fact, the repo company took the vehicle in violation of B&P 7508.2 (that the vehicle "was parked in a gated community that requires a pass code . . . to enter suggests that a violation might have occurred, but it isn't a necessary conclusion), then the company might be subject to a $500 fine by the Director of Consumer Affairs, but that would benefit you in no way.
     
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  18. tsmith58

    tsmith58 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Could you explain to me what publicly accessible means? Even though this property is privately owned, has restricted access to unauthorized vehicles and the code may have be shared with additional individuals not authorized to possess the code, it seems improper, and a possible charge of trespassing may be attributed . . . Just as if a locked vehicle could be broken into, improper way of entering but they were still able to gain access and get away with property that belongs to the owner. However, different laws may apply to that example, but a similar scenario in retrospect . . . Also it sounds like a breach of contract due to non payment and breach of peace may also be identifiable in this case. After review of these factors, it seems there may have been a violation of community rules and regulations also as mentioned beforehand. This law seems very tricky, however it sounds like it does not offer any benefit to pursue. Thank you all for your feedback and assistance with this matter. I am not sure a lawyer would provide additional clarity or assistance as it seems I have obtained it here.
     
  19. tsmith58

    tsmith58 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I also forgot to mention a representative at the DOCA was able to review the details of this case, however was unable to pursue due to the fact that the repossession company is no longer licensed and has consolidated with another organization. This same representative suggested I could pursue this in court but it sounds like my case is not relevant.
     
  20. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    No. It is not remotely close to an illegal act of trespassing.

    No. You did not describe any kind of breach of peace anyway. Apparently you were not even present to confront the repo when it happened.

    The tow company is not subject to those community rules.

    It is not tricky, but you are right that there is nothing for you to pursue. You've provided no information indicating any wrongdoing by the tow company.

    You would get better use of your money if you lit it in fire and absorbed the warmth of a moment's flame.
     

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