Fact Checked

How do I Stop a Car Repossession?

Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands

You can best stop a car repossession by immediately paying delinquent car loan payments and communicating with the lender before repossession is arranged. If doing so is not possible, giving the car back to the lender through what is called voluntary vehicle repossession will stop additional fees from accruing against you. You will still be responsible for paying amounts originally agreed to in your contract, however, as well as any additional fees assessed before the car’s return.

One of the ways in which you can stop a car repossession is by communicating with your lender why your payments are past due. Sometimes lenders will allow a forbearance, which is simply factoring your outstanding payments back into the total balance of the auto loan. This will extend the time you have to make payments on your car, but as long as future payments are made in a timely fashion, you can avoid involuntary vehicle repossession.

As a last resort, declaring bankruptcy may be a way to avoid car repossession.
As a last resort, declaring bankruptcy may be a way to avoid car repossession.

Another way to stop a car repossession is to refinance the loan on the car. This may be done either through the current lender or through a new lender. Often, because you now have less to pay on your total balance, this may reduce your monthly payments, while at the same time stopping a pending car repossession.

In cases where the lender actually sends a tow truck for car repossession, there are things that you can do to stop your vehicle from being taken. While the lender does have the right to repossess your vehicle and can even come on your property to do so, a car repossession can only take place without disturbing the peace. Some people have blocked their vehicle from being taken by physically sitting in or on the car and refusing to move, as a person sent to repossess a vehicle is not allowed to physically force a person out of the way while seizing a vehicle. Car repossession laws vary by jurisdiction, so becoming familiar with the laws in your area is best when determining how to stop an auto repossession.

Under certain circumstances, filing a bankruptcy may stop a car repossession. Bankruptcy is a serious legal action used to stop creditor collections while a person or business regroups and receives guidance from a court-appointed trustee in resolving debts. This method can, however, be very damaging to one’s personal credit score. Speaking with a qualified professional prior to filing a bankruptcy is always a good idea.

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Discussion Comments


I had a friend get her car repossessed after 4 months of missing payments, and the repo company wouldn't even tell her where the car was being stored. She got a contact number, but the person on the other end was not sitting in a shop somewhere. They told her she needed to pay nearly $2,000 in cash immediately if she wanted her car released from the secret lot. It took her a few weeks to raise the money.

When she got her car back, it was completely trashed. There were a few hundred more miles added to her speedometer. She was still in trouble with the lender, too, so she had to pay even more money to keep it from happening again. The take-away from all this is to do everything possible to avoid getting your own car repossessed.


Most car repossession companies do not play. When they get the order from a lender to repo the car, that's what's going to happen. If you think you can negotiate your way out of the repossession itself, you're wrong. The lender can contact the repossession company and work things out, but only if you meet your own financial obligations first.

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    • As a last resort, declaring bankruptcy may be a way to avoid car repossession.
      By: woodsy
      As a last resort, declaring bankruptcy may be a way to avoid car repossession.