California readers know there are many drawbacks and negative consequences involved with owing a significant amount of debt. From constant phone calls from creditors to the threat of losing your vehicle, falling behind on your payments can affect multiple areas of your life.

If you are significantly behind on your car payments, you may find yourself facing the threat of vehicle repossession. This is the process of a creditor retaking your car due to late payments. This may seem like an affront to your property rights, but it is actually legal for creditors to do this. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make this process stop and help you deal with your debt.

What happens during this process?

Many people misunderstand the repossession process. You might think this could only happen to you if you are extremely behind on your payments, but in reality, creditors may have the right to initiate this process after just one missed payment. It could be beneficial for you to understand the following information about repossession:

  • A creditor’s right to repossession is generally spelled out in your lease or purchase agreement, even if you do not realize it’s there.
  • When attempting to repossess a vehicle, a creditor will work with a third party to do so.
  • While a third party will have the right to take possession of a vehicle, he or she cannot break the law or breach the peace in the process of doing so.
  • The third party can take your car from your property if it is sitting in your driveway, parking lot or in another easily accessible area.

In many cases, repossession generally affects vehicles. However, it can also affect other types of property, such as jewelry, furniture bought on credit and artwork.

What can you do to make it stop?

Repossession can feel like an invasion of your privacy and property rights, but you have the right to fight back and seek a beneficial outcome to your financial concerns. One of the ways you can do this is by seeking bankruptcy protection through either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

When you file for bankruptcy, it will enact the automatic stay. This stops all contact from creditors, including halting any repossession efforts underway against you. If you want to deal with your debt in an effective and organized manner or you want to know how to stop creditor harassment, you may find it helpful to learn more about the benefits of consumer bankruptcy.