This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

What Are the Laws on Car Repossession in Maryland?

Question from Eve, What Are the Laws on Car Repossession in Maryland?

Answer from AI:

If you’re facing car repossession in Maryland, it’s important to understand the laws and your rights as a citizen. Car repossession is a legal process where a lender takes back possession of a vehicle when the borrower fails to make payments according to the terms of the loan agreement.

Understanding Maryland’s Repossession Laws

In Maryland, the laws governing repossession are found in the Maryland Commercial Law Code. Here are some key points:

  • Right to Cure: Before repossessing the vehicle, the lender must provide a “Notice of Intent to Repossess” which gives you a 10-day period to catch up on payments and avoid repossession.
  • Self-Help Repossession: Maryland allows for “self-help” repossession, meaning the lender can repossess the vehicle without going to court as long as it’s done without “breaching the peace.” This means the repossession must not involve violence, threats, or breaking into a locked garage.
  • Deficiency Judgments: If the repossessed car is sold and the sale doesn’t cover the full amount owed, the lender may obtain a deficiency judgment against you for the remaining balance.

Your Rights During Repossession

As a Maryland citizen, you have certain rights during the repossession process:

  • You have the right to receive the “Notice of Intent to Repossess” before your car is taken.
  • You have the right to retrieve your personal belongings from the vehicle.
  • The repossession agent cannot use force or threats, and they cannot enter your locked property without permission.
  • If you believe the repossession was conducted unlawfully, you may have grounds to challenge it in court.

Police Involvement in Repossession

Generally, the police are not directly involved in the repossession process. However, they may be present to prevent a breach of the peace. The role of the police is to ensure that there is no violence or disturbance, but they do not assist in the actual repossession of the vehicle.

What to Do If Your Car Is Repossessed

If your car has been repossessed:

  1. Contact your lender to discuss any options for redemption or reinstatement of the loan.
  2. Collect your personal belongings from the vehicle as soon as possible.
  3. Keep records of all communications with the lender and the repossession agency.
  4. Consult with a legal professional if you believe your rights have been violated.

It’s important to note that this information provides a general overview and is not a substitute for legal advice. For personalized guidance, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in consumer rights or financial law. They can provide advice based on the specifics of your situation and help you understand your legal options.

For more information on repossession laws, you can visit the People’s Law Library of Maryland or the Maryland Commercial Law Code.

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