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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    5

    Default Serious Breach of Peace and Illegal Repossession

    My question involves an auto loan or repossession in the State of: Michigan

    I am behind on my car payments. I understand that they financed my car, and I was responsible for paying them on time. However, it is unbelievable what just happened to me and I would like to get your opinions on what you think I should do at this point.

    Earlier this evening my husband ran into the house and stated that there was a tow truck in the driveway. I ran outside and asked what they were doing and I was told to move out of the way. My car was parked with the front end in the garage, the back end hanging out. The tow truck driver said that he was repossessing my car, and I told him no he was not. He started yelling at me to move out of the way and was trying to get the guy with him to hook up my car. I told him to leave my property and he refused, I asked him to see a court order for repossession and he told me that he did not need one.

    I told him again that he was not hooking my car to anything before I saw any papers from him. I also told him he did not have my permission to take anything out of my garage (although to be honest again, half of my car was in, half was out) I then called the police. He flipped my phone closed at which point I moved back from him and reopened and dialed 911.

    I explained to the operator what was going on, all the while yelling back and forth with the tow truck driver. While on the phone with 911 told the other person with him to hook up my car. He was also yelling at my husband to give him the keys, which I refused. I disconnected with the 911 operator and called capital one and they told me they would talk to the tow truck driver to stop the repo, however the repossession agent refused. I told him that I needed to get my purse out of the car, at which point the bigger of the two men pushed me from my car, and told me not to touch the vehicle again.

    The other man was still trying to get my car hooked up and the man again insisted that we give him the keys. It was at this point that the police officer showed up. He was absolutely no help what-so-ever, and told me that I had to let them take my car. I explained to him that he was yelling, making a scene and arguing with my husband outside and causing a scene and refusing to speak with capital one (whom was still on the phone listening) he told me that he did not have to talk to capital one, he wasn't going to speak to capital one and to give the tow truck driver my keys.

    At this point, I was very upset and admittedly getting loud with the police officer. I did nothing illegal, but he was talking to me like I was the biggest scum on earth for not paying my car note on time.

    The police officer asked the repossession men if they had a copy of the order from Capital One to provide me, they said they did not and he said thats OK, and waived them to leave. I had to sit and watch as they finished strapping my car and they drove off. I went to go back into my garage at which point the entire door folded in half into the shape of a triangle. My door was not damaged before the repossession men came. I immediately told the police officer I wanted to file a police report for damages at which point the police officer told me that I could not prove when my garage door was damaged. The police officer said that it looked like it had just fallen off the track...interesting how my garage door never had a single problem until they came into my garage to take my car.

    The police officer called for assistance at that point in which another police officer just came and pretty much listened to the story all over again. I was told at that point I had no proof that they repossession agents damaged my garage door (which again, I really do not, but the honest truth is there was nothing wrong with my garage door before this point, and the garage door was 3/4 open when they came for the car, not folded down or damaged in any way. I insisted that they file a report and they said they would but it was very unlikely there would be anything to come of my claim, but they would file a report for me to pick up after 7 days.

    What do I do now?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Serious Breach of Peace - Illegal Repossession

    Anytime you are getting repoed, go ahead and give the keys, this will prevent damage to the car from it being hopped up the ramp. If your car was half in, half out like you state, I do not see how this repo was "illegal", and neither did the cops.

    Keep in mind, they did not take your car, they took Capital One's car. The contract you defaulted on says just that, that you do not own the car til it is paid off.

    As to what you can do now, Capital One will weigh whatthey can auction it for versus what you owe on it. If they can make more money selling it at auction outright, and you are far enough into default to kill any grace period, your only recourse is to bid on it at auction. However, if CO can get more money from you, they will most likely set something up to put you back in it, however, many times all they will offer is the accelerated amount (full payoff).

    They are not going to do you any favors, most likely, they will do whatever makes them the most money.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Serious Breach of Peace - Illegal Repossession

    What makes it illegal is that they damaged my property and breached the peace. I am not a lawyer, but have read several different places that the creditor may not "breach the peace" in seizing the property. I would have to say that the peace was "breached" several times during this instance..

    Also,

    "Unless otherwise agreed, secured party has, on default, right to take possession of the collateral. In taking possession a secured party may proceed without judicial process, only if this can be done without breach of the peace. If not, a legal action may proceed. Michigan UCC MCL 440-9503"


    Anyone else have any advise please?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Serious Breach of Peace - Illegal Repossession

    Quote Quoting elorei
    View Post
    I do not see how this repo was "illegal", and neither did the cops.
    In addition to my response above I would like to say that it is amazing to me that I could show up in your driveway with a tow truck and take your car without ANY documentation. I could just simply refuse to speak with the company I am claiming to work for, yell at the top of my lungs at you to give me the keys and rant at you about making your car payments on time with neighbors in all 4 directions peering at you. When you ask me to see paperwork confirming they have an order to take your car, or even information on what you owe, I do not have to provide that to you.

    This is all happening while with the creditor telling you that they want to speak with me, they can stop this before your car is strapped..While I am at it I will take my 300 pound self and push you away from your car door and slam it shut. Feel threatened? Want to call the police? Let me then flip down your phone when you attempt to call. On second thought, it will sure be great when the police come...They will waive me out of your driveway after I break your garage and drive away. Of course after I drive away YOU will be required to show the police officer your drivers license so he can run your name. All of course because you are the criminal that missed one car payment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,823

    Default Re: Serious Breach of Peace - Illegal Repossession

    I agree with you, OP. The car was repo'ed illegally. As soon as you began arguing with him, trying to block him, and he pushed you, it became illegal. They are only supposed to take it in a peaceful manner.

    I also think you have a good small claims case for the door, despite what the officer said.

    Good luck.
    ~Christina

    Unless a source is cited, anything posted here by me is only my opinion, and is not meant as legal advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Serious Breach of Peace - Illegal Repossession

    Pushing you was illegal. Closing your phone may have been illegal. Taking their car back was not. As for documentation, be honest. What possible paperwork could they have had that would have made you agree to the repo without a fuss?

    The repo itself was not illegal, it sounds like they were more than happy to come and hook it up and drive off peacably, however you tried to stop them.

    Are you asserting that repo men must stop what they are doing the second the debtor in default stirs up a ruckus? You breached the peace, not the repo men. Yes, I understand that you are upset that someone took their car back that you decided to stop paying to use; just be glad you aren't in Georgia, or the repo men would have just sat there and called the police to toss you in jail, THEN hook up the car.

    As for who the criminal is, I will say I do not know the law in your state about impeding or concealing enforcement of secured interest. As I stated before, in Georgia it will land you in cuffs, maybe jail.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,823

    Default Re: Serious Breach of Peace - Illegal Repossession

    Repo has to be "peaceful" as per her state law.

    If it is not peaceful, the repo man has to cease.

    He also is required to leave the plates with her, and I'm quite sure that he is required to have documentation.
    ~Christina

    Unless a source is cited, anything posted here by me is only my opinion, and is not meant as legal advice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Serious Breach of Peace - Illegal Repossession

    Quote Quoting mmmagique
    View Post
    Repo has to be "peaceful" as per her state law.

    If it is not peaceful, the repo man has to cease.
    Breaching the peace and being peaceful are not the same thing. You can be a totally rude bastard and not "breach the peace". The post clearly states that the repo men were there to pick up a car, and the poster said they were not taking it. If any breach occured, it is when the poster decided she owned the car without paying for it, and tried to stop a legal repo. Like I said, in Georgia this would have had her cuffed or jailed.

    He also is required to leave the plates with her, and I'm quite sure that he is required to have documentation.
    Is that true in that state? I do not know. Plates and belongings are able to be picked up here, however the repo men are not required to leave the items at the time of repo. However, most repo men will let you get stuff out of your car and can make the entire process much less painful if you let them do their job. Going outside and throwing a fit is only going to escalate matters, they are still going to get your car. Maybe from the grocery store after you bought food, maybe at work, maybe at the movie theatre.

    Repo men do not show up and sieze property unless someone stops making good on their contract. They are not the ones to blame here.

    If you never decided to stop paying for that property, the repo man would never show up. Take some responsibility. Pay your debts, follow your contract. It is not YOUR car until you pay it off, as the repo men (and police) have already shown you.

    As for documentation, why would they need a court order to repo? (as per original post).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,823

    Default Re: Serious Breach of Peace and Illegal Repossession

    From the reading I've done, they are required to stop if/when someone is breaching the peace. "Possession After Default Without Breach of Peace Unless otherwise agreed, secured party has, on default, right to take possession of the collateral. In taking possession a secured party may proceed without judicial process, only if this can be done without breach of the peace. If not, a legal action may proceed. Michigan UCC MCL 440-9503"

    I'd also be surprised to learn that the person doing the repossession is not required to show proof that they have a right to do the repo. If not, bad guys could just hook up innocent people's cars and disappear with them...

    I did find this though "Const 1963, art 1, Sec. 17 provides that no person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution also provides that no State deprive any person of his property without due process of law."
    here: http://www.ag.state.mi.us/opinion/da...0s/op05398.htm
    ~Christina

    Unless a source is cited, anything posted here by me is only my opinion, and is not meant as legal advice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Serious Breach of Peace and Illegal Repossession

    Quote Quoting mmmagique
    View Post
    I did find this though "Const 1963, art 1, Sec. 17 provides that no person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution also provides that no State deprive any person of his property without due process of law."
    here: http://www.ag.state.mi.us/opinion/da...0s/op05398.htm

    Whose property is it until it is paid off?

    If you give me a CD, and I promise to pay you for it, and a week later, I haven't, is it my CD, or still yours?

    You do not own a car until you have the title and zero liens are on it. Why do people think just going to the dealer and signing a contract makes them own the car?

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