Can a Repo Man Enter Private Property in New Jersey?
After falling behind on payments, property or assets might be repossessed, including your vehicle. While repo men can enter your property to take your car, there are limits to how far they can go.
Repossession can be very invasive, and repo men can enter private property to repossess your belongings. However, repo men cannot enter private property in a way that breaches the peace or constitutes breaking and entering. For example, they cannot enter your home without your permission but can enter your open driveway to tow your car away if you do not stop them. You may take steps to prevent your vehicle and other assets from being repossessed. While you can lock up your car in a garage or enclosed fence to keep repo men from taking it, you can also file for bankruptcy to stop the repossession process. If you believe you are facing repossession, contact a lawyer for help.
Speak with our New Jersey bankruptcy attorneys by calling Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 and schedule a confidential review of your situation for no charge.
Can Repossession Workers Enter Private Property to Taky My Car in New Jersey?
People whose jobs are to repossess property for lenders or creditors are not police officers. While a police officer might be able to break down your door – at least under certain circumstances – a repo man cannot. However, repo men are allowed to enter private property to repossess their property and vehicles.
The ability of repo men to enter private property is not unlimited. They can enter private property if doing so does not constitute breaking and entering or a breach of the peace. This means that repossession workers may enter private property as long as they do not need to get through locked doors or gates.
Additionally, if you find the repo men trying to tow your car from your open driveway, you can tell them to leave your property, and they are required to obey. Unfortunately, repo workers do not always listen, and they might take your car anyway.
If your car is in an open driveway, repo men may come and tow your vehicle away even though your driveway is private property. However, if you find the repo workers in your driveway and tell them to leave, their action may become unlawful, and you should speak to an attorney immediately.
Limitations on When and How Repo Men in New Jersey Can Enter Private Property
Generally, repo men can enter your property as long as they are not breaking and entering or trespassing. Breaking and entering might occur if the repo men must open a locked gate or door. For example, if repo men came and took your car away, but your car was inside a locked garage, the repo men likely committed a breaking and entering.
Alternatively, the repossession team that took your car might have trespassed. Simply being on your private property might not necessarily be trespassing, at least as far as repo men are concerned. However, if you tell the repo men they cannot enter your property, they must obey and leave just like any other person. They might have a lot of power to repossess your property, but they are not at the same level as police officers who might need to trespass in the course of their duties.
Whether you should permit repo men to enter your property is up to you, but you should discuss the matter with an attorney first. In some situations, it might be best to let your car or other property be repossessed, and you and your lawyer can deal with the creditors and try to get it back. However, if you believe the repossession is unlawful, you might want to refuse the repo men entry to your private property.
How to Prevent a Repo Man From Entering Your Private Property in New Jersey
Naturally, people facing repossession want to know how to protect their belongings and property. While trying to block repo workers from taking your property might be a temporary fix, it cannot last forever. Our Mount Holly, NJ bankruptcy lawyers can help you file for bankruptcy and halt the repossession of your vehicle and other property.
Lock Up Your Property
If you keep your property locked up, such as in your home, garage, or private fenced-in area, repo workers cannot take it without breaching the peace or breaking and entering. You can keep your vehicle and other belongings behind lock and key. Park your car in a locked garage or behind an enclosed fence. Do not leave it in an open driveway or parked on a public street.
If repo men come to take your vehicle and ask permission to enter your property, you do not have to say yes. However, you should talk to your attorney about what to do in this situation. Even if they leave without taking your property, they will almost certainly come back. Alternatively, they might wait for you to drive your car to a public place where they do not need your permission to enter.
File for Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy might seem like an extreme reaction to having your vehicle repossessed, but it might help you solve your financial problems. Once you have filed for bankruptcy, the courts will issue an automatic stay that should prevent creditors and lenders from coming after you for payment or initiating foreclosure or repossession proceedings. Filing for bankruptcy can help you get a hold of your financial situation, pay back some debts, and have other debts discharged.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy works by liquidating your assets and using the money from the sale to pay back outstanding debts. Once the liquidation process is done, the court might discharge other debts, meaning you would no longer be liable for repayment. This might be a good idea if you do not have many assets to lose or do not mind parting with your assets.
If you want to keep your assets, like your vehicle, you might be interested in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under this chapter, you and your lawyer will develop a payment plan to help you repay certain debts over several years. Once the payment plan is completed, the court might discharge other outstanding debts. Liquidation does not usually play a role in Chapter 13, so you are likelier to keep your assets and avoid repossession.
Call Our New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyers for Assistance
Reach out to our North Jersey bankruptcy attorneys at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates by calling (609) 755-3115 to schedule a free case assessment to get started.