Can the Repo Man Move Another Car to Get to Yours in Pennsylvania?
Having your car repossessed is not just humiliating. It is also a serious disruption to your life. Repossessions do not always go smoothly, and the repo workers taking your car might encounter obstacles, such as other vehicles in the way.
If your car is blocked by another vehicle, repo men can move it to get to yours. However, repossession workers cannot take your property in a way that breaches the peace. Still, repo workers can enter public or private property and take your car without providing advanced notice, but there are some limits. Generally, repo workers must leave your property if you say so, they should not use force, and they cannot get assistance from law enforcement. If your car is repossessed, you should contact an attorney right away. It is also a bad idea to try blocking your car with another car on purpose, as you might only make the situation worse.
If your car was repossessed or you believe it will be, call our Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyers at (215) 701-6519 to schedule a free case review with us at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates.
Can Repo Men Move Other Cars to Take Mine in Pennsylvania?
There might be various obstacles hindering the repossession of your vehicle, including other cars blocking the repo men from your car. Generally, repo workers should not be moving vehicles they are not authorized to repossess, but there might be exceptions.
While repossession workers are not law enforcement agents, they are often permitted to do things others are not. The biggest and most obvious power these repo workers have is the ability to take back a vehicle without the owner’s permission. Even so, repo workers are limited in how far they can go to take your vehicle. The situation becomes tricky if your vehicle is blocked off by another car not slated for repossession.
The people working for the repossession company can move the other car to get to yours. However, this might not be possible if moving the other car constitutes a breach of the peace. If the repo workers cannot move the other car, they may try again another time when moving the other car would not be a breach of the peace.
A breach of the peace is not necessarily a criminal offense but might be more akin to a public disruption. For example, if the owner of the car blocking yours refuses to allow the repo workers to move their car, they may not do so. Alternatively, if the cars are in a locked garage or behind a private fence, they cannot be moved without trespassing, which would be a breach of the peace.
Can I Block My Car with Another Car to Stop Repossession in Pennsylvania?
A tactic sometimes used by people who know their car is at risk of being repossessed is to intentionally block their car with another vehicle. Generally, when people buy cars, part of the agreement with the car dealer or creditor is that they can enter your private property and repossess the car if you fail to make payments. However, your neighbor’s car is not subject to the terms of the agreement, and repo workers should not move it if they are told not to.
Even if you try to block the repo workers from your car with another vehicle, they might breach the peace by trespassing on private property anyway. For example, repo workers might try to quickly move the car before anyone notices, especially if they believe nobody is home. Even if you tell them to stop, they might refuse in the hopes that you do not press the matter any further.
What Repo Men Can and Can’t Do to Repossess Your Vehicle in Pennsylvania
Repo workers are generally allowed to repossess a vehicle under various circumstances. However, repo men may not take a vehicle if doing so would breach the peace. Exactly what constitutes a breach of the peace may vary from case to case and is not always easy to identify. If you believe your vehicle was repossessed illegally or in a way that breached the peace, contact an Allentown bankruptcy attorney immediately.
Your car can be repossessed at almost any time and place. Your vehicle might be repossessed on public or private property. Repo men typically come looking for the car where they know they are likely to find it, such as your home or place of work.
Repo men do not have to notify you that they are coming to take away your car. Many repossession companies try to take vehicles when the owners do not notice. For example, they might repossess your vehicle when it is parked in your driveway, and nobody is home to stop them. Instead, notice is usually sent by certified mail the day after the repossession.
Moving another vehicle to get to yours might be considered a breach of peace under certain circumstances. For example, if your car is in your drive and blocked by another vehicle parked behind it, the repo men might ask if they can move the second vehicle to get to yours. If you refuse, there is not much they can do without breaching the peace. Breaching the peace might also involve repossessing cars that are fenced off or parked in closed garages.
If the owner of the other car, if it is not yourself, agrees to move their vehicle, there is not much you can do to stop the repo workers.
What Happens if the Repo Men Take My Car Illegally in Pennsylvania?
The people working for repossession companies who come to take your vehicle away are likely not legal professionals. While they might have been briefed on some basic dos and don’ts of their job, they might repossess your car in breach of the peace of other rules. In that case, talk to a lawyer right away.
If your car was repossessed, and the repo workers did something to breach the peace, your attorney can help you file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. After the complaint is filed, the repo company might face serious legal repercussions. Depending on how serious the breach of the peace was, we might first talk to the repo company and ask for the car back in return for not filing a complaint.
The breach of peace might also affect your contract with the lender or creditor who ordered the repossession. You have rights here, and the creditor cannot violate your rights to enforce the contract. Doing so might be a breach of the contract, and we can sue this to try and keep your vehicle.
Call Our Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Attorneys for Help
Call our Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyers at (215) 701-6519 to schedule a free evaluation of your claims with the legal team at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates.