Many types of debt can typically lead Oregon residents to experience financial challenges. Mortgages, medical debt and automotive loans are common liabilities that debtors may have troubles paying or staying current on. People behind on car payments may be concerned about the repossession of a vehicle and need to find ways to save their cars and also stop creditor harassment. Understanding some of the basics about repossession can help when potentially facing such action.

An automotive lender can legally repossess a vehicle after any violation of the purchase contract. This includes the lack of proper insurance or missed payments. Companies can come onto an owner’s property to seize a vehicle but are not legally allowed to take it out of a garage when the door is closed unless given permission by the resident. Vehicles that are repossessed can be sold at an auction at which the debtor would have the ability to bid. Any personal property in the car would be allowed to be reclaimed.

In some cases, a company may take a vehicle and work with the debtor to reinstate the loan. Many lenders prefer to work collaboratively prior to the threat of repossession to find ways to keep the car in a person’s possession and get a loan current again. Repossession can be voluntary or involuntary but the latter most commonly incurs more expenses for the debtor and should be avoided if possible.

If you have worries about asset forfeiture, bankruptcy or other financial issues, you could be able to get help from an attorney. Talking to someone who understands the pertinent laws may make it easier for you to make the right choices and save your assets.

Source:, “ BBB: Understanding the auto repossession process ” April 10, 2014