Everything You Need to Know About Georgia Repossession Laws
Georgia repossession laws are designed to protect borrowers and lenders when the borrower fails to make payments on their car loan. Learn more.
The Basics of Georgia Repossession Laws
Falling behind on car payments can leave you vulnerable to repossession. Creditors have the authority to seize vehicles under Georgia auto repossession laws if the car owner fails to make the car payments or breaks the sales contract.
In other words, creditors have the authority to deploy tow truck drivers to seize a borrower’s parked automobile in front of their residence. Nevertheless, creditors must satisfy numerous conditions under Georgia law to recover an automobile without obtaining a court order.
Repossession Laws in Georgia in Regards to Voluntary Repossession
In Georgia, a vehicle can be voluntarily repossessed. If you know you can no longer pay, you can give your vehicle to the creditor through a voluntary repossession in Georgia.
This can be beneficial if your automobile gets repossessed, allowing you to pay no legal fees and avoid the costs held by the lending company. However, you still want to avoid repossession in any form when possible, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a debt relief attorney before choosing this option. Bournakis & Mitchell, P.C., provides compassionate and diligent legal services for cases dealing with the repossession of vehicles and other property items. Call us at (706) 350-6075 today to speak with a knowledgeable Northwest Georgia bankruptcy attorney.
What Are the Repossession Laws in Georgia?
When making a large purchase like a car, people often take out a car loan and enter into a contract with a lender to make regular payments until the loan is paid off. Sometimes, however, life situations such as health issues, divorce, loss of a job, or other unexpected problems can lead to financial strain and make you unable to pay your debts.
While the majority of repossessions in Georgia deal with a truck or a car repossession, other property items may be vulnerable if they are encumbered with a loan.
Common property items subject to repossession include:
Repossession also may apply to personal property items, including TVs, appliances, jewelry, and furniture. If you fall behind on loan payments and fail to uphold the contract terms, the lender or the lending company has the legal right to repossess your property.
With the legal assistance of a Northwest Georgia bankruptcy attorney from Bournakis & Mitchell, P.C., you can get quality legal advice and explore your options to help avoid repossession or navigate Repossession laws in Georgia.
Laws on Repossession in Georgia
Georgia’s car repossession laws allow the lender that funded your car to reclaim its investment if you owe money. These rules provide lenders that retain your vehicle as collateral (title lending firms) the ability to seize and sell it if you default on your payment.
If you sign a loan agreement and use certain types of property as collateral for the loan, that property can become subject to repossession if you fail to honor the loan contract. Your ownership rights are restricted unless you pay cash when it comes to buying a car in Georgia. Until you pay your debts, it preserves title ownership, which means that the lender has the authority to repossess the vehicle if you fail to repay the loan as agreed.
When a lender physically repossesses your car, Georgia law requires lenders to follow procedures designed to defend and safeguard the customer.
Georgia repossession laws ensure that agents may not enter your home uninvited or use any form of violence to repossess your property. Repossession agents, however, do not need to notify you prior to your vehicle repossession. This means that they may come at any time and legally take it away.
How to Avoid Vehicle Repossession in GA
Car repossession can be terrifying. It may be incredibly tough to travel to work or make visits to the store if you don’t own a car. The wisest strategy is to avoid repossession at all costs.
There are some measures you can take to protect your auto loan from going into default, such as:
- Reinstating your loan – Reinstating your debt entails bringing it current with a single payment. This sum could cover all past due payments and late fees. Even if your automobile has been repossessed, you may be able to retrieve your loan.
- Refinance – Your existing lender may be eager to extend the duration of your loan for a smaller monthly payment. You can also change the lender if that doesn’t work out. Refinancing means lowering your monthly payments, but there’s a chance your interest rate will increase.
- Filing bankruptcy – This may appear to be a drastic step, yet it can provide comfort. By filing for bankruptcy, you can initiate an active stay, which temporarily prevents agents from repossessing your property and gives you extra time to figure out a solution to deal with your debts. Active stay also prevents creditors from harassing you through phone calls or emails. Our experienced Northwest Georgia bankruptcy attorneys can help you file bankruptcy and seek a positive solution for your case.
How to Get Your Car Back from Repossession
Even if you already have a repossessed vehicle, you have the right to repurchase it from your creditor under Georgia’s Commercial Code.
Nevertheless, you have to pay the creditor the whole amount owed and some creditor charges, such as repossession fees. Although Georgia law does not say anything about a grace period, you have the right to purchase the car until the creditor sells it to another buyer. Unless you’ve signed an agreement in which you surrender your rights, the lender must provide you the option to pay off the remaining loan balance and reclaim the car.
If you have issues with Georgia repossession laws and want to learn more, contact our law firm, Bournakis & Mitchell. Facing repossession is difficult no matter where you are, but our attorneys have the needed skills and experience to assist you. Get legal help today by scheduling a free consultation on your case at (706) 226-7867.
What You Need to Know About Repossession Law in Georgia
If you are late on your vehicle payments or have defaulted on your lease or loan contract, your creditor has the authority to seize the vehicle, sell it, and then sue you for the balance of the debt, according to the state law.
What Should I Know About Repossession Laws in GA?
If you are sued and a judgment is obtained, they can withhold your salary and seize your bank account so that they collect the amount.
They can come onto your property in Georgia for car repossession as long as they don’t disrupt the peace. However, they are not permitted to take your car themselves from within your garage, but they do have the authority to do that if it’s parked on the driveway.
How Repossession Works
Georgia law requires that the lender tells the debtor that they have ten days to pay off the loan in full once your automobile has been repossessed. This covers any additional fees incurred in the process of reclaiming a repossessed vehicle. When the term is completed, the lender will generally see it at an auction.
It is crucial to remember that, in most cases, the lender does not receive the whole amount owed on the repossessed vehicle. In some instances, the lender receives thousands of dollars less than the amount owed on the loan. The shortfall amount is the distinction between what you owe on the loan agreement and what the lender sold for it. The lender wants you to make up for the difference. They have the legal right to sue you for it.
Your credit report will be harmed in a variety of ways. The repossession will be on your credit record for seven years, and if the creditor sues for a deficiency judgment, it will appear on your credit report as well.
Georgia Repossession Laws Procedure
Suppose the vehicle creditor wishes to pursue a deficiency in Georgia. In that case, the car creditor has to give you notice of its intention to seek a deficiency in a commercially reasonable manner. They also need to provide notice of your right to redeem the property within ten days.
Required Notices in Car Repossessions
Georgia’s statute on required notices in car repossessions is outlined below.
“ (a) Any person who lawfully repossesses a motor vehicle shall be an involuntary, gratuitous, or naked depository of any personal property found in such vehicle and shall have a lien on such property for any reasonable expenses incurred in storing such property or in giving notice to such owner.
(b) Within ten days of the date of repossession, the person repossessing such motor vehicle shall notify the owner of the motor vehicle of the intent to dispose of the personal property. Such notice must be actual notice but maybe by personal service or by service by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery.
(c) If the personal property is not redeemed within 30 days from the date of the first notice, a second notice shall be sent in the same manner as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section. (d) Suppose the personal property is not redeemed within 30 days from the date of the 2nd notice. In that case, the personal property may be disposed of most expeditiously to the depository without further liability. The proceeds shall be disbursed as provided in Code Section 44-14-412. “
Make sure this doesn’t happen to you! You have many choices if you are facing repossession in Georgia. Our bankruptcy lawyers are knowledgeable about Georgia repossession laws and can assist you in keeping your car and more.
Request a free consultation with one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys by calling at (706) 226-7867 today. We are ready to help you begin moving forward.