Finance Company Repossessions California

Usually the Finance Company will sell the vehicle at auction for a fraction of what you owe on it. They will then sue you for the balance.

The real name of the Repossession Law in California is the Automobile Sales Finance Act. It requires the finance company to provide certain notices to you. If they fail to to do so, they are not entitled to a deficiency.

"The rule and requirement are simple. If the secured creditor wishes a deficiency judgment, he must obey the law. If he does not obey the law, he may not have his deficiency judgment." Bank of America v. Lallana (1998) 19 Cal.4th 203, 215.; see also Civil Code §2983.2.

If you get served with a Summons and Complaint, DO NOT IGNORE IT. Call this office immediately at 858/270-7000. We will review the documents at no charge. You have only 30 days to file an Answer, so time is critical. If you do not file an Answer to the Complaint, you will be defaulted and lose any chance of defending against the deficiency, even though you may have solid defenses. They will win just because you did not respond. The court will issue the Finance Company or Debt Collection Company a judgment awarding them the balance of the contract, interest on the contract from the date of the repossession, and attorney fees and costs. This can amount to a lot of money that you may not owe at all.

The Finance Company often sells the contract or judgment to Debt Collection Companies. They will damage your credit by putting the invalid deficiency judgment on your credit report. Employers check credit reports when reviewing employment applications. Landlords check credit reports before renting to applicants. A repossession and/or a judgment on your credit report can prevent you from getting a job or renting an apartment. Under California Code of Civil Procedure § 706.020, they can garnish your wages and take up to 25% of every paycheck until paid.

They can attach bank accounts and checking accounts. If you own a home, they can file a judgment lien and prevent you from selling your home without paying them first. If you do nothing, you can expect the Finance Company or a Collection Agency to sue you for the deficiency and default you if you do not file an Answer with the Court. A judgment on your credit report can make getting job very difficult. A judgment or repossession on your credit report can prevent you from buying a home. It causes a downward spiral for many people who already are in very difficult circumstances.

Most people are beaten down by the tactics used by finance companies and think there is nothing they can do. But there is something you can do. If they fail to provide the proper notices, you owe nothing for the balance of the financing. Far too many people ignore the aftermath of a repossession and do nothing. The requirements of the repossession law are technical, and the assistance of a lawyer is important to protect your rights. If I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to call at 858/270-7000.

“AmeriCredit Repo Class Action Goes to Court”

This office is currently taking AmeriCredit Corp., to court in a federal court class action in the Southern District of California for their violations of the Automobile Sales Finance Act. We have asserted that the Notice of Intent sent to consumers after the repossession is fatally defective. If the Notice of Intent does not comply with California law, AmeriCredit is not entitled to a deficiency after they sell your car or truck. For years, AmeriCredit has been taking defaults and pursuing "deficiency" actions against California consumers for money that they do not owe, in clear violation of California law. AmeriCredit's first response is not to prove that what they are doing is legal, but instead to claim that their victims cannot band together and bring a class action. However, there is something you can do. If you have gotten a Notice of Intent to Dispose of Vehicle from AmeriCredit, or as they call it, the Notice of Our Plan to Sell Property, fax it to this office, at 858/270-7710 or you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with your phone number, and I will call you promptly.

The California Supreme Court has noted the "extremely high default rate in such actions - often well over 90 percent", in the Barquis v. Merchants Collection Ass'n of Oakland, Inc. (1972) 7 Cal.3d 94, 108.

Knowing its customers lack the legal expertise, money, and time to engage it in a fair fight, the AmeriCredit wants a one-on-one with the penniless and unrepresented consumer. If your car was repossessed by AmeriCredit, contact us immediately. Together we can help make AmeriCredit comply with the law.

The Automobile Sales Finance Act...

...requires the Finance Company to do the repossession legally. If you have received a letter from your Finance Company after a repossession, fax it to us at 858/270-7710 or you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., along with your phone number, and we will review it at no charge. Or contact us here with your repossession questions.

San Diego Lemon Law Center | The Law Office of Michael E. Lindsey
Tel: (858) 270-7000 Fax: (858) 270-7710 | 4455 Morena Blvd., Ste. 207 San Diego, CA, 92117 (see map)

General Information Only

The information in the San Diego Lemon Law Center pages is for general information only and is not intended to be taken as legal advice. If you have a specific legal question or problem, please feel free to contact us or you should promptly consult with an Attorney handling such matters in your area for advice.