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The Repo Man Goes High-Tech

Maybe you've had some bad luck with your finances in the past, and your credit rating isn't what it should be. However, if you scraped together a few bucks for a down payment on a used car, you may have been relieved to find a dealer who would offer to finance you despite your high risk. You may flinch at the label such dealers use to describe borrowers like you: subprime. But you need a vehicle, and this seemed like your only option.

In the past, if you fell behind on your car payments, you could expect threatening calls from your lender. You may have even found yourself looking over your shoulder for the repo man or finding a place to hide your vehicle to protect it from repossession. These days, lenders are using more sophisticated ways to harass you.

Is your car a tattletale?

Many lenders no longer have to keep a tow truck parked around the corner because they have technology on their side. However, the federal government is investigating claims by borrowers like you who say the tactics violate federal laws protecting you from unfair collection methods. Some of the devices a lender may install in your car may include:

  • An ignition kill switch device linked to your lender's computer allowing the lender to disable the engine so your car won't start if you miss a payment
  • GPS tracking devices that make it easier for repossession companies to find and reclaim your vehicle
  • Payment reminder devices that make gentle noises to remind you of an upcoming payment but increase in intensity and duration as your due date passes

Your car may have one or all of these devices, and some borrowers have complained that they overstep the line into harassment. In fact, the ignition kill switch may leave you stranded in an unsafe area at a dangerous time of day.

You have options to avoid repossession

The latest statistics show that Americans have about $1.16 trillion in total car loans, and that 5 percent of subprime borrowers are 60 days or more behind on their payments. If you are among that 5 percent, you may have many concerns about your future. Losing your car may prevent you from going to work, sending your finances into an even deeper spiral.

Fortunately, there are options that will prevent repossession and give you a fresh start. For example, filing for bankruptcy will automatically stop any repossession or foreclosure proceedings a lender attempts to make against you. This will give you a chance to take care of your situation and work toward a brighter future.

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PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • NACBA | National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NACA | National Association of Consumer Advocates
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Goldman & Beslow, LLC

Goldman & Beslow, LLC is a Federal Debt Relief Agency by an Act of Congress. We have proudly assisted consumers seeking relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for over 38 years.

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