Fortunately, there is help available to avoid repossession or even to get back property that has already been repossessed. Creditors wanting to take back property cannot do so unless they abide by Ohio laws. You may be able to prevent them from seizing your property by becoming current with your payments, making special arrangements with your creditors, or filing for bankruptcy.
The seasoned Columbus, Ohio, bankruptcy lawyers at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer offer a free consultation to examine your specific financial situation and find the path to a brighter future that is right for you. We will make your case an urgent priority in order to help you stop repossession or perhaps even recover property that was recently repossessed.
What Are Ohio Repossession Laws?
By Ohio law, creditors can take back your car or other secured property as soon as you default on your loan, even if you just missed one payment. If you are in danger of getting behind on your payments, check your contract to see if you may be given a grace period to make up your payments.
If your contract states that the creditor has the right of repossession, the creditor can reclaim the property immediately, without giving you notice. The creditor does not have to go to court and get a judgment as long as there is no “breach of the peace.” This is defined as something “likely to produce violence.”
Creditors may also file a lawsuit and get a court order for repossession, usually by the sheriff’s office. These are called “replevin” cases, and sometimes the court will issue an order even before you know that a case was filed. If you wish to challenge the replevin order, you must file a hearing request with the court within five days after receiving the paperwork and file an answer within 28 days. You should keep all correspondence and contact an attorney immediately for legal assistance.
What Happens After Repossession?
When creditors repossess property, they usually send default notices within five business days. The notices explain why your property was repossessed and what you must do to get it back. Typically, you must pay the past-due amount plus the costs of the repossession and up to two additional payments.
If you cannot make these payments and are unable to negotiate a payment plan with your creditor, the creditor may sell the property. You will be notified that the property will be sold at least 10 days before the sale. You still may be sued for the “deficiency balance” — the amount still owed on the loan.
What Can and Cannot Be Repossessed?
If your property has been used to secure a loan, it can be repossessed if you default on that loan.
- Your home
- Your vehicle
- Rent-to-own items, such as furniture, electronics, and appliances
- Property used as collateral to guarantee repayment of a debt
Property that cannot be repossessed, even if you default on a loan includes:
- Property not specifically named as collateral
- Credit card purchases
- Property named as collateral in a contract that does not comply with Ohio’s legal requirements
Even if property cannot be repossessed, creditors may still sue you in court to recover the money you owe. If they win, they may be able to garnish your wages or put a lien on your property.
Companies That Do Repossession in Columbus
Here are a few of the major companies that perform repossessions in the Columbus, Ohio, area.
Automobile Recovery Services, Inc.
4852 Frusta Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43207
B & B Recovery
1380 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43222
Gray’s Asset Recovery
1036 Richter Rd, Columbus, OH 43223
Bankruptcy Can Stop Repossession
There are two main types of bankruptcy for consumers – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both can stop repossession and harassment by creditors.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy, and it discharges most or all consumer and/or business debts while protecting you from harassment from creditors and repossessions. In most instances, deficiency balances can be treated as an unsecured claim and be discharged in your bankruptcy. Also, Ohio has exemptions of property that cannot be sold, including clothing, cars, equipment used for work (like tools) and household furnishings. If you do not own much property, your possessions may all be exempt.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan that consolidates your debts and allows you to repay some or all of them over a three- to five-year period. Once a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is filed, you are protected from repossession by the bankruptcy code’s automatic stay provision. If you successfully complete the court-approved payment plan, the debts covered by the plan are discharged.
Free Initial Consultations For Ohio Residents Facing Repossession
If you live in Columbus and are faced with repossession, time is of the essence. If you cannot become current on your payments or make another arrangement with your creditor, you may be able to prevent the repossession by filing for bankruptcy or taking other steps that may help.
The experienced and compassionate debt-relief attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer know what you are going through. We offer a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to evaluate your entire financial picture by examining your income, your debts and your goals in order to determine the best fit for your individual situation. We have helped countless Ohio residents find new hope and prevent repossession.
Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call the Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer today at our conveniently located Columbus office at 614-228-4435 or email for your free consultation so we can determine what debt relief solutions will work best for you.