If you're the owner or manager of a "buy here, pay here" (BHPH) auto dealership, you may find that the repossession process eats up a great deal of your employees' time -- and an unsuccessful repossession can cost you a significant amount of money, even if you're later able to prevail against the defaulting buyer in small claims court. What can you do to locate and recover defaulted vehicles more quickly? Read on to learn more about your legal rights when repossessing a vehicle, as well as some technological innovations that can significantly decrease the odds that a vehicle sold by your business will be unable to be located if the owner stops making payments.
What are your legal options if a purchaser stops making agreed-upon payments?
Your business's purchase and financing agreement likely sets out the specific steps and timelines for repossession of a vehicle. For example, this agreement should clearly indicate the number of days late a payment must be before the buyer is considered to be in default, as well as an agreement that your business has the right to repossess its vehicle upon notice of default.
As long as you have signed documentation that permits you to seize your collateral upon the purchaser's default, you'll be able to utilize a number of repossession methods, from placing a locking "boot" on the car or truck before it can be towed back to your dealership to using your own spare keys to simply drive the vehicle away if you see it parked in public.
What technology can be used to make the repossession process easier?
Before mobile technology became more widely available, BHPH dealers often had to act as private investigators or detectives to track down defaulted vehicles, visiting the owner's home, place of business, or even the homes of relatives in an attempt to locate and recover the vehicle. As it can be illegal to trespass onto another's private property to remove an item you rightfully own, dealership staff who suspected (but could not prove) that the buyer's vehicle was parked in their own garage were often out of luck unless they chose to file a civil lawsuit against the buyer.
Today, many BHPH lots have begun affixing global positioning system (GPS) trackers on each vehicle to make them easier to locate. By calling up your GPS dashboard, you'll be able to see where each of the vehicles your business has recently sold are located or even view the driving history for each vehicle. If you go this route, you may want to consider attaching an alarm or other security feature to the GPS tracker itself to prevent it from being removed or destroyed by an owner who doesn't want to be found. Contact a company like Autobank of Kansas City for more information.Share
3 June 2016
Hello, my name is Veronica. Welcome to my site. I am excited to talk to you about DIY and professional auto repairs. Most of the maintenance tasks on your vehicle can be completed in your own driveway. You just need to right tools and repair manuals to complete the job at hand. Of course, there are plenty of tasks best left to the professionals. As you learn to do your own maintenance, you will start to easily tell the difference between professional and DIY worthy tasks. I will use this site to provide all of the information you need to know about this process. Thanks for visiting.