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Replevins and the Auto Repossession Business

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  • Replevins and the Auto Repossession Business

    07replevinsandtheautorepossessionbusiness01.jpgThe Replevin
    Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into repossessing a vehicle, you just can’t get it. The debtor sometimes will hide the vehicle or keep in a locked garage or building. The repossession agent can make an untold amount of visits to the debtor’s residence and still be unsuccessful. The agent performs a multitude of door knocks and the debtor tells him to get lost or that he does not know where the vehicle is. Often times the collateral that the repoman is looking for is just a few feet away locked safely in the garage. The lender may opt to go to court and get obtain a replevin. The word replevin is an Anglo-French law term that is derived from the the noun form of the verb "replevy". It signifies the recovery by a person of goods unlawfully taken out of his or her possession, by means of a special form of legal process.

    A replevin is used when the party that has the right to the property is unable to take custody of the collateral either because self-help repossession is not available or the debtor is refusing to give up the property. Replevins are used in places where a finance company cannot lawfully repossess the vehicle through self-help, so the lien holder must go to court to obtain a replevin order. They can also be used if the debtor is hiding the collateral or keeping it locked up. The finance company will often obtain a writ of replevin in order to force the debtor to comply with their attempts to take custody of the property.


    07replevinsandtheautorepossessionbusiness02.jpgReplevins Are Obtained in Civil Court
    A relpevin is not obtained in criminal court as it is just as action of civil law. It is not a theft of the collateral, but the debtor failing to complete the terms of the payment contract. The replevin only orders the return of the collateral that has a lien on it . It does not order the debtor to compensate the lien holder for any monetary losses. A replevin is no good if the item in question is no longer in existence due to its destruction or if it is unable to be located.

    Often times a bailiff or other court representative will accompany the auto repossession agent to make contact with the debtor and take custody of the collateral listed in the replevin. Sometimes a lock smith will be involved if it has been proven that the collateral is locked in a garage for example. The locksmith can safely remove the lock without damaging the entry to the building and subsequently the collateral can be retrieved.

    Replevins are rarely used, but can be an extremely powerful tool when someone is wrongfully holding onto to collateral that a lien holder has the legal right to.
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