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What Are Your Options if a Debtor Hides Collateral from Repossession?

Posted on in Debt Collection

Chicago debt collection attorney detinue

If you work for a bank, credit union, auto lender, truck lender, equipment lender, or other finance company, you are familiar with the way some debtors might refuse to pay their monthly payment for their debt secured by collateral. In those cases, repossession of the collateral is necessary, but sometimes the debtor will hide the car, boat, or other collateral to prevent repossession. If that is the case for you and your organization, consider the actions you can take to recover the property, including legal actions.

When Repossession Fails 

Repossession companies are legally permitted to do many things in their pursuit of reclaiming property for creditors, but one thing they cannot do is “breach the peace,” which means they cannot commit crimes like breaking into a property or intimidating creditors in order to retrieve the collateral. This is one of the reasons creditors should be very mindful and discerning when choosing a repossession partner. 

Overall, though, if your repossession partner is struggling to recover the property that you are owed payments toward from the debtor, you can take legal actions. In particular, you can either enact replevin or detinue orders.

The Benefits of Detinue

Detinue is usually best when the repossession company cannot locate the property. For instance, a debtor might keep it hidden within his or her home, which would prevent repossession companies from retrieving it legally. The benefits of detinue include:

  • No need to locate the property—An order of detinue from the court forces the debtor to be confronted and then required by law to return the property to the creditor even if it is hidden.

  • Debtor consequences for not relinquishing the collateral—If a debtor still refuses to provide the property to the creditor or the creditor’s representative after receiving a detinue order, the court can hold the debtor in contempt.

  • Further financial compensation—Since detinue is an extensive process conducted through the courts, you are more likely to be able to recoup your losses for both the property and the process of attempting to recover the property.

The Benefits of Replevin

Replevin empowers the creditor or the creditor’s representative to act upon a court order that allows a sheriff to seize the property and return it to the creditor. The greatest benefit of replevin is how quickly it can happen—you can have the property recovered within five days since the debtor is given five days' notice before the sheriff begins seizing the property. Detinue takes much longer. Unfortunately, with replevin, you have to know exactly where the property is and you might even have to hire your own personnel to accompany the sheriff, including a bondsman and locksmith. You need to have someone from your company there in attendance at the sheriff’s seizure of the property as well. 

Contact a Chicago Detinue Recovery Lawyer

When dealing with debt collection for secured property/collateral, creditors have many options for delinquent accounts, including repossession, replevin, and detinue. If you are attempting to recover your losses with a debtor’s secured debt, call a qualified Illinois replevin attorney today at 312-704-0771 to schedule a confidential consultation. The skilled team at Dimand Walinski Law Offices, P.C., has experience with hundreds of these types of recovery actions and can help you navigate the complex process of attaining these court orders.




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