Wrongful Reposession

repoProperly completing a repossession in Missouri requires strict compliance with a number of statutes. Missouri allows “self-help” repossession of vehicles – that is, without going through Court – only because those statutes provide a measure of protection to consumers. Violating the rules is a violation of a consumer’s due process rights, and may constitute a wrongful repossession.

There are six main steps related to repossession a vehicle. After a consumer is in default (failure to make a payment), a “First Notice of Default” should be sent. If a consumer again misses a payment, a “Second Notice of Default” should be sent. Step three then allows the vehicle to be repossessed, so long as that effort does not “breach the peace.” Upon taking the vehicle, a “Notice of Our Plan to Sell Property” must be sent, and must include certain required legal language. Step five is to dispose of the vehicle, which must be done in a “commercially reasonable” manner. Finally, a “Notice of Sale and Explanation of Deficiency” must be sent, and must include specific information. Missouri judges generally require strict compliance with these rules.

An important feature of a wrongful repossession claim, like the FDCPA and lemon law, is  the provision that the creditor may be responsible for paying the consumer’s attorney’s fees. This means that we keep track of the amount of time that we spend working on a case, but do not ask the client to pay those bills up front.  Instead, we seek to have the creditor pay all of the fees. A consumer therefore need to spend any money out of pocket.

If you have had property wrongfully repossessed, Contact Brody & Cornwell today for a free consultation.