You’re behind on your car payments, and it’s significant. It’s not as if you missed one month because you forgot or fell behind on other bills. Your financial situation is not that stable, you have a lot of other debt and you have not paid your car payment in a while. You can’t even remember exactly when you sent in that last payment.
Your debt could come from different directions. Maybe you lost your job at an inopportune time and you burned through your savings quickly. Maybe a medical emergency put you in massive debt that you really had no way to avoid. Maybe you started a business and then had it fail, putting your financial future in jeopardy.
Losing your car
The exact reason is not important. What matters for the immediate future is that you worry they are going to repossess your car. You still need it to have any chance of getting back on your feet financially.
American society is based around personal transportation. It’s critical for work and leisure. Losing a vehicle and the freedom that it provides can be heartbreaking, and it can make it impossible for you to take the positive steps you need from here. If you thought that debt was bad before, imagine being in debt with no way to work.
You know enough not to make it easy for them by parking your car on the street or in a public lot. But what you’re wondering is if the repo team has the freedom to do whatever they want to get it back. For instance, can they go into your garage in the middle of the night and leave with your vehicle?
Your private residence
No. It is that simple. You still have a right to privacy and security in your own residence. Your garage counts. If you paid monthly to buy a TV, they couldn’t come into your living room in the middle of the night and take it off of the wall. The same goes for your car. If it is in your garage, they cannot enter your property and reclaim it, even if you have not been paying.
You cannot do this forever, as hiding your car in the garage is no better than losing it to the repo team in the first place.
However, you do have options. Offering partial payments may help. Asking for a grace period may allow you to improve your financial situation.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy may eliminate some debt, or Chapter 13 may give you a repayment plan that you can actually afford. It is important to know what options exist and how to make the most of them going forward.