We went through a bankruptcy in Nevada in 2004 and our leased automobile was included in the discharge. I elected to retain the vehicle but not reaffirm the lease agreement. For the past 3 years I made all the payments in a timely manner and about 5 months ago my wife and I retired to Northern Baja California in Mexico. We had a few financial problems in July and became two months behind in our payments. I should also note that the 60 month lease agreement is up in 4 months and it was my plan to purchase the vehicle at that time if I could get adequate financing. I made an early payment this month to start getting caught up but the very next day I received word that a detective agency in Las Vegas, where we used to live, was trying to find me. After contacting them I was referred to the leasing agency. They initially seemed receptive to continuing the lease if I immediately paid the one payment that I was now behind. Unfortunately when I mentioned that I was living in Mexico they went ballistic and ordered that I turn in the vehicle immediately and that they would no longer accept any further payments. I find now, after reviewing my lease agreement, that I should not have driven the vehicle into Mexico. I wonder why?
I told them that is was impossible to turn it in that very day but that I would do so as soon as possible. They were not satisfied with this and the conversation elevated unitil I terminated the call. The next day I wrote them a letter giving the location of the vehicle, my Mexican phone number and told them that it was available for repo at any time if they wanted it immediately. I wrote another letter a short time later stating that I was now ready to return the vehicle if they would provide me with an address and telephone number in the San Diego area to arrange for the return. I haven't heard anything from them since and my wife is petrified that they will report the vehicle as stolen and that we will be arrested the next time we attemt to cross the border into CA for driving a stolen vehicle.
Can the lease company report it as stolen even though I have given them the location of the vehicle on 2 occasions and ensured them I am not seeking to hide the vehicle?
Does the US border patrol have any interest at all in this kind of situation?
I was under the impression that failure to return a leased vehicle was a civil matter and that police departments, federal, state, or local, were not in the business of reposessiing vehicles for banks or detaining the drivers. And finally, what's my position here in Mexico. Can US vehicles be reposessed here with relative ease? This kind of situation has never happened to me before and I am a bit out of my element. I'm waiting patiently to hear from the leasing agent either by telephone or mail with instructions but I don't want to be arrested when I cross the border to turn in their car. What are my rights and obligations?
JAB in MX