If I had a car repossessed after making payment, is there anything that I can do?

UPDATED: Jan 26, 2011

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If I had a car repossessed after making payment, is there anything that I can do?

I had a car repossessed after my payment having been 41 days late. It was an oversight on my part and upon receiving the letter saying that I was late I sent out the full amount owed. They received and processed the payment on the 20th of January, and deposited it on the 21 of January. However on the 22 a friend had called me and said that the car was gone. He could place it there on the night of the 21st. After initially denying receiving the payment, they now say the car was repossessed on the 19th. Does my friend and other witnesses word have any weight in this case. Should I take their deal?

Asked on January 26, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

They could have repossed instead of accepting a very late payment; once they accepted, they could not. The issue then is about timing--note that if they did repossess properly before payment was received, they would be entitled then to keep the payment and apply it against any balance you would still owe under the financing arrangment after the car is sold at auction, etc.

Since the issue re: repossession is timing, the issue will be how strong is your evidence of when it was repossessed vs. their evidence. Another issue is how much (based on how long you've had the car, how much was paid towards it, etc.) this costs you. If you feel you have good evidence and losing the car would be costly, it would be worth trying to challenge the repossession by suing them for the return of the car.

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