Manyhorses

NH state repossession regulations

7 posts in this topic

My sister has a pre divorce agreement stating that the car the couple had is in her possession. Last night some one came and repossessed the car. She was not notified. Some one drove up and got into the car and drove off with it. The state police say that the dispatch knew about but apparently didn't inform my sister.

Until she called the state police did she find that dispatch knew all about it. She is behind in payments. What are the regulations regarding repossession and could her soon to be ex had anything to do with this?

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I assume the lender has a lien on the car to secure the loan it made to purchase the car. In that case, the law of most states is that the lender may repossess the vehicle so long as that can be done without a “breach of the peace.” New Hampshire is no exception. When the loan is in default, it allows a secured lender to take the security without judicial process (i.e. without first going to court) if the lender is able to do so without breaching the peace. NH Rev. Stat. § 382-A:9-609. So, if the car was sitting out in the open where the repo guy could easily get to it, then it was fair game for the repo guy to just take it. Had it been parked in a garage, however, that would have presented a problem for the repo guy because breaking into the garage is a form of breach of the peace.

Note that the lender does not need to inform the debtor prior to the repossession they it is going to take the secured property. The reason for that is simple: if the lender tells the debtor ahead of time, that gives the debtor a chance to hide the car.

Her husband might have told the lender where to find the car and/or given the lender keys for the car. But whether he helped the lender or not doesn’t make any difference to the legality of the repossession action the lender took.

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What are the regulations regarding repossession

I'm not quite sure what you're asking here. If you're asking whether the lender was required to give some sort of warning to your sister, the answer is no. She obviously knew she was in default of the loan agreement, which means she necessarily knew or should have known that the car could have been repossessed at any time. Presumably, the repo guy let the police know so that they wouldn't concern themselves with a stolen vehicle report.

could her soon to be ex had anything to do with this?

Sure, I suppose. You obviously know your brother-in-law better than we do. In any event, it doesn't really matter.

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Since she was behind on her payments, did she receive any warning regarding repossession?

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Thank you for all of your help and information in this matter. No she was notified that **** planned to repo the car. **** is who financed the car. (****). The other matter is that my sister had personal and confidential information in the car. The repo took all her papers, when can she get them back or will she?

Edited by FindLaw_AHK
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator

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I meant she was not notified. But the car was in her soon to be ex's name although the court papers gave her the right to keep it.

The lender isn't a party to the divorce action. Her husband is the record owner of the car, and I'd expect that any notice given would go to him. If the car loan is solely his obligation, then under federal law the lender could not have disclosed much to her about this anyway.

The other matter is that my sister had personal and confidential information in the car. The repo took all her papers, when can she get them back or will she?

The lender doesn't get to keep personal property that was in the car. She ought to contact the lender or repossession agent ASAP to arrange to get whatever personal effects she had in the car.

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