How Long Will a Repo Man Look for a Car?

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

How Long Will A Repo Man Look For a Car?

If you are reading this, odds are that you have . If this is the case, you should keep reading DoNotPay's advice on dealing with a car repossession, and learn how to get out of this dilemma with the least negative impact on your credit report.

Why Would the Lender Send A Repo Man to Get My Car?

It is really simple. When most people buy cars, they take out a loan. When you sign all those papers at the dealership, somewhere in that mountain of paper and “dealer-speak” is your promise to pay them back on an agreed-upon schedule.

No matter how much the salesman seems like your buddy, this is a binding legal agreement and if you miss even one payment, the lender has the right to take the car back—send the repo man.

In truth, most lenders won't start repo proceedings until you've missed two or three consecutive payments and have not contacted the lender to work something out. Keep this in mind if you're on the edge of a repo—it's your responsibility to call the lender.

They'll probably call you and bug you about the payment, but it's not their job to save your car or your credit rating.

In some states, the lender has to notify you if they are starting the repo process—which means that in other states, you're blindsided when that flatbed shows up in your driveway.

Where Does the Repo Man Look for My Car?

They’ll look everywhere. These are the tricks some consumers use to avoid a physical repo, but they really don't work. The lender knows where you work and live, and repo men are good at sussing out where you go.

Repo companies will find the vehicle and tow it even if you’re:

  • Parking at a neighbor or friend's house
  • Parking at your work, or in a public lot
  • Removing the license plate. This is also a misdemeanor, so don’t do it.

The only place that a repo team can't get your car is if it's locked in a garage.

How Long Do They Search?

. If you manage to keep the car after that, you haven't exactly won anything, except you've really annoyed your lender. You still owe the money, and if the lender can't physically take your car back, then they turn up the financial pain through legal action. The super hard-nosed lenders may even charge you with theft.

Cleaning Up Your Credit Report After a Repo

If you've exhausted all your resources and can't avoid a repo, it's better for your credit report if you go ahead and turn the car into the lender. This is referred to as a "voluntary" repo, in that it gives you the chance to remove your personal belongings from the car, and you can return it when it's convenient for you.

Once the repo has happened, it's time to clean up your credit report. The table below shows some ways you can start to fix your credit score.

Steps You Can Take to Start Fixing Your Credit Score After a Repo
  • Write an explanation to the credit bureaus and ask that it go in your file.
  • Negotiate a new payment plan with the lender
  • Dispute the repossession

How to Dispute the Repossession

It seems hard to believe, but disputing the repo may be the easiest way out of this credit mess. Here's why.

Lenders have a high bar to clear in reporting information to the credit bureaus. They are obligated to provide absolutely correct and complete information on a timely basis, and if they miss a stitch anywhere, the information has to be removed from your credit report. If you are disputing the repo, your chances are slightly better if the dealer sold your loan to another lender—there's a better chance some of the paperwork was lost.

Check your paperwork to ensure these details are correct:

  1. Every date on the forms
  2. Balances
  3. Terms of the loan
  4. Account numbers
  5. Any and every other blank that's filled in

If you find an error, file a dispute with all three credit bureaus. They have 30 days to verify the information, which means the lender has 30 days to respond and rebut the dispute. Often, they do not respond in that time frame, and the derogatory item has to be removed.

DoNotPay Does the Paperwork for You

With the click of a button or two, DoNotPay can file the paperwork for you to remove a repo from your credit report. It’s the fastest, easiest, and most straightforward way to fix your credit after a repo. Here's how it works.

  1. Search Clean Credit Report on DoNotPay.

  2. Prepare a recent copy of your credit report that you can use as a reference.

  3. Let us guide you through the 4 potential options:
  1. If you've already paid off your debt, we'll help you file a Goodwill Removal Request to get it removed.

  2. If you notice any errors in your report (we have a list of common errors you can use!), we'll help you file a credit dispute to the creditor or major credit bureaus.

  3. If there are no errors, we'll check if you're still eligible to file a debt validation request. If they can't validate your debt, they're required to remove it from your report and they can't collect it!

  4. Lastly, if none of the above options work, we'll help you file a pay-to-delete negotiation letter. You can customize the amount you are willing to pay in exchange for getting the item removed.

DoNotPay is the Solution to Other Financial Problems

Our sophisticated legal AI is up to date on credit regulations in every state in the US, so our communication with any creditor references state-specific statutes.

In addition to fixing your credit score, we can remove late payment histories, too. We can help you cancel accounts and subscriptions, send financial aid appeal letters, and even help you with paying bills. There's no reason to fear the credit bureaus with DoNotPay on your side.

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