Vehicle Repossessions

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS IF YOUR VEHICLE WAS REPOSSESSED AND SOLD

We have successfully litigated many class action lawsuits challenging vehicle repossession practices in Maryland.

  • Contact Us Now if your car was repossessed, and you were not told when and where the vehicle would be sold - call 410-825-2300 or click here.
  • Contact Us Now if your car was sold at a "private" repossession sale, but you were not told who bought it or how many bids it got - call 410-825-2300 or click here.
  • Contact Us Now if your car was sold at a so-called "public sale," but you were not allowed to watch the sale - call 410-825-2300 or click here.

Read the Law - you can read the laws governing most Maryland vehicle repossessions here and here.

Learn About Repossession Lawsuits:

We obtained a ruling from Maryland's highest court that repossession sales must allow the public to watch, in order to be "public sales" under Maryland law.

  • Watch the argument in the Maryland Court of Appeals here
  • Listen to the argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit here
  • Read the Maryland Court of Appeals opinion here

We have settled many vehicle repossession lawsuits on a class action basis.  

Contact Us Now if your vehicle was repossessed and sold, and you believe your rights were violated.

Maryland imposes strict requirements on finance companies or “credit grantors” who repossess personal property – like vehicles – and requires such credit grantors to provide specific information and accounting to borrowers in connection with the repossession and sale of goods.  These strict requirements are designed to protect the interests of borrowers.  Among other things, these requirements are intended to ensure that repossessed goods are sold in a commercially reasonable manner. They are also in place to provide borrowers information necessary for any defense against actions seeking so-called “deficiency balances” remaining after the goods are sold, or to seek appropriate payment of amounts over and above the amount to which the credit grantor is entitled following the sale. 

For example, Maryland’s Credit Grantor Closed End Credit Act (“CLEC”) requires a credit grantor to send a borrower a notice of a right to redeem or rights upon resale, as required by CLEC § 12-1021(e). This notice must be sent to the borrower’s last known address by registered or certified mail, within five (5) days after the repossession, and must briefly state: 1) the borrower’s right to redeem the vehicle, and the amount payable for it; (2) the borrower’s rights as to a resale, and any liability for a deficiency; and (3)  the exact location where the vehicle is stored and the address where any payment is to be made.

CLEC also requires, before the sale of a repossessed vehicle, that the credit grantor send a pre-sale notice under CLEC § 12-1021(j)(1)(ii).  This notice must be sent at least 10 days before the sale, must notify the borrower in writing of the time and place of the sale, and must be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the borrower’s last known address.

In addition, if the vehicle is sold at a private sale, the credit grantor must make a full post-private sale accounting to the borrower under CLEC §12-1021(j)(2). This accounting must include a statement of all of the following facts: (i)  The unpaid balance at the time the vehicle was repossessed; (ii)  The refund credit of unearned finance charges and insurance premiums; (iii)  The remaining net balance; (iv)  The proceeds of the sale of the vehicle; (v)  The remaining deficiency balance or the amount due to the borrower; (vi)  All expenses incurred as a result of the sale; (vii)  The purchaser's name, address, and business address; (viii)  The number of bids sought and received; and (ix)  Any statement as to the condition of the vehicle at the time of repossession which would cause its value to be increased or decreased above or below the market value for goods of like kind and quality. 

Absent strict compliance with the statutorily required notices regarding repossession, including the pre-sale and post-sale notices, a credit grantor in a transaction governed by CLEC may not lawfully assess or collect any deficiency from consumer borrowers, or any other person liable under the contract, following disposition of the repossessed property.  CLEC specifically provides:

If the provisions of this section, including the requirement of furnishing a notice following repossession, are not followed, the credit grantor shall not be entitled to any deficiency judgment to which he would be entitled under the loan agreement.    

CLEC § 12-1021(k)(4).

In addition, absent strict compliance with the statutorily required pre-sale and post-sale notices regarding repossession, a credit grantor “may collect only the principal amount of the loan and may not collect any interest, costs, fees, or other charges with respect to the loan.”  CLEC § 12-1018(a)(2).  A credit grantor who knowingly violates any provision of CLEC is liable for statutory damages of three times the interest, costs, fees and other charges collected in excess of that authorized by CLEC.  CLEC § 12-1018(b).

 

 

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