How do property repossessions work in Tennessee?

When you are facing significant debt that you cannot manage, your financed property is at risk. Under the right of repossession doctrine, your creditors can take action to reclaim vehicles, jewelry, artwork and other items that you have not completely paid off.

As you explore your options for managing your financial obligations through bankruptcy or other means, your property remains at risk. In other words, while you are trying to decide how to address your debt, your creditors could send someone to take back your car or other property. They have the right to conduct repossessions so long as they do not break laws or breach the peace.

How do repossessions work?

Creditors usually contract with other entities to reclaim property on their behalf, which is probably how the term repo man arose. Fortunately, creditors and those sent to reclaim unpaid items must comply with several rules in Hixson, TN and other areas. These include:

  • They may not break into your home or onto your privately-owned land to reclaim items.
  • They may not violate any laws when conducting repossessions.
  • They may not enter enclosed areas without permission from the property owner.

On the other hand, those sent to reclaim property have the right to take items in the open and unsecured. For example, a tow truck driver hired to repossess your car may take it from your driveway or the street in front of your home.

You could try to negotiate with your creditors to stop a repossession, but negotiations often fail. Filing a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you hold on to your property. If your creditors have already taken your car or other items, filing for bankruptcy could even help you get your property back. In most cases, a bankruptcy lawyer fills a valuable role of advocacy in helping you overcome your debt and keep the property you rely on (vehicles, etc.) safe from repossession.