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What Is the Replevin Process When Repossessing a Vehicle?

 Posted on May 13, 2022 in Auto Lenders

IL debt collection lawyerCreditors often need to address situations where debtors default on loans. For auto lenders, these situations require a timely response, since a vehicle used as collateral for a loan may be moved, concealed, or damaged by a debtor, and a creditor will want to recover the collateral quickly to protect its financial interests. When repossessing a vehicle, a creditor may use the replevin process, and they will need to follow specific procedures and ensure they are complying with their legal requirements.

Pursuing a Replevin Action

In some cases, creditors may be able to complete a repossession by asking a debtor to voluntarily turn over a vehicle, or they may take possession of a car that is in a public location. However, if a repossession would involve a “breach of peace,” a creditor may need to use replevin. For example, if a vehicle is locked inside a person’s garage, a creditor would not be able to enter the location and take possession of the vehicle without first receiving authorization to do so.

A creditor can begin the replevin process by filing a complaint in court. This complaint will describe the property that is being repossessed and state that the creditor has the right to take possession of a vehicle that has been wrongfully detained or concealed by the debtor. The debtor must be provided with written notice of the complaint at least five days before the date of a court hearing that will address the replevin request. However, this notice requirement may be waived if the creditor provides evidence that the debtor is likely to conceal, damage, destroy, or transfer ownership of the vehicle or remove it from the state.

If the court grants a request for replevin, the creditor may provide the replevin order to the local sheriff in the county where the vehicle is located. The creditor will usually be required to post a security bond, and they will also need to pay for the costs of towing a vehicle, a locksmith, or any other required equipment.

Once a creditor takes possession of a vehicle, they may take steps to sell the vehicle to a new buyer. However, before doing so, they must give the debtor the opportunity to redeem the vehicle by paying off the amount owed on the loan. A notice of redemption must be sent to the debtor at least 21 days before the sale of the vehicle will take place. If the debtor has paid at least 30 percent of the total amount of the auto loan, they can reinstate the loan by paying any past-due amounts, as well as costs and fees related to the repossession. In other cases, a debtor may redeem the loan by paying the total amount owed to the creditor.

Contact Our Cook County Replevin Attorneys

Auto lenders will often need to determine how to proceed when it becomes necessary to repossess a vehicle. Dimand Walinski Law Offices, P.C. can provide representation for creditors, ensuring that they follow the correct steps during replevin actions. We can also help determine whether detinue actions may be a more beneficial option in cases involving vehicle repossession. Contact our Chicago vehicle repossession lawyers at 312-704-0771 to learn how we can help creditors protect their rights and interests.


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