Automobile repossessions are notoriously unceremonious events. In a world of mounting financial hardships, repossession compounds things. Despite that, all hardships aren’t unfair or unlawful. Borrower’s rights are sometimes trampled upon during repossessions in what’s known as a breach of peace.
A breach of peace occurs when the repossession agents use force, intimidation, or coercion to achieve their means. Repossessions must be conducted according to the letter of the law. When they aren’t, you could be entitled to compensation. For borrowers, talking to specialists like Thompson Consumer Law Group is a way to correct what may have gone wrong.
Breach of Peace
Breach of Peace must be proven. Knowing the steps and strategies to secure proof is important for winning a case or settlement. Let’s examine how to prove a breach of peace during a car repossession.
This means taking photographs or videos whenever possible, but especially during the repossession. Capture clear instances of aggressive behavior or verbal threats by repossession agents. Be polite and courteous while recording. Note timestamps and locations, as well as names and contact information for all involved parties; witnesses included.
Statements from any witnesses who may have observed the repossession are great for making your case. Statements can be solid evidence to support a claim, especially when aggressive tactics or any form of intimidation is witnessed. Neighbors, passersby, or any mentally competent present will do the trick. Collect the statements in written or video format.
Seek Video Surveillance
Many residential and commercial properties have surveillance cameras. Check for any such properties whose security cameras may have recorded the repossession. Approach the owners of the properties and ask them nicely if you can review their backlogs. If footage of a shady repossession is captured, it can serve as compelling evidence in a breach of peace claim.
Keep records of communication with lenders, repossession agents, or other relevant parties. If threats or coercive language were used during these communications, they can be used as evidence for your claim. Organize your records and have them readily available for any consumer law attorneys or other qualified professionals to review.
Obtain Police Reports
If the police were called to the scene during the repossession, ask for a copy of the report. This document may provide helpful information about the events of the repossession and the conduct of the repossession agents. Police reports can provide some of the strongest leverage for establishing a breach of peace, because as law enforcement officers, their word holds weight.
Review State Laws
Know your state’s repossession laws. There may be some specific regulations constituting the legal definition of a breach of peace during repossession in the jurisdiction of the incident.
Understanding the legal framework usually helps build a stronger case for proving a breach of peace did occur.
Consult Legal Professionals
Sound legal guidance is known to be invaluable when proving a breach of peace occurred during a car repossession. Experienced attorneys specializing in consumer rights can assess and guide you through the legal process. Attorneys only charge a fee if you win a settlement or a court case, so you’ve got nothing to lose.
File a Complaint
When you believe you have a strong case for having been violated, consider a filing formal complaint with the relevant regulatory authorities and consumer protection agencies. Spare no detail, and have your evidence ready to present. An investigation may be launched, and the findings could be used to resolve the issue or support any legal action you may pursue.