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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 10630
Experience:  30 years of corporate, litigation and international law
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my auto loan lien holder, (wells fargo) repossessed my vehicle after it was towed and bein

Customer Question

my auto loan lien holder, (wells fargo) repossessed my vehicle after it was towed and being stored with a 30 day hold, because the registration was expired for at least 6 mos. They didn't even notify me they had taken my vehicle and were repossessing it. I found this out, when I attempted to pick it up, after the 30 days was coming up and was told the Bank came and got it. When I called Wells Fargo, they had no particular reason, other than they felt it was in the best interest of the Bank, they didn't release it back to me and were not willing to let me continue making my payments, after paying for the storage and tow fees. They told me if I wanted it back, I had to pay off the outstanding loan balance as well. All my payments, have been made on time, I had put 30% down, and the vehicle had continuous insurance coverage. I was however 20 days late on the current payment. The reg was expired, because of a major mechanical failure, and missed the window of opportunity to non-op it. My mechanic finished the major repairs and was fine tuning it when it was towed. A couple of weeks after I spoke to Wells, I received a call from my Ins. Carrier, who told me Wells Fargo called and tried to place a claim for damages done to the vehicle. It was in pristine condition when towed and they NEVER mentioned anything about damage to it, when I spoke with them prior. I have lost my entire investment in my vehicle, been billed their so called "deficit" and a repossession on my credit and no means now to purchase another vehicle.. cash or credit. To make matters worse, all the stress this has caused me, has exasperated my heart condition. How much would it cost to have an Attorney represent me? Would an Attorney be willing to take on contingency?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 6 years ago.
Were you also outside the grace period on the late payment? Does your contract give you the right to cure by bringing the payments within a specified period of time?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

yes, because it states the grace period is 10 days. It does state all payments mus b made on time and if not,then I am in default.If in default, it states I may be required to pay all that is owed on loan, however It is very ambiguous, because it states I "may" have the right to reinstate contract by paying past due amount & late charges and redeem vehicle. It doesn't state under what condition(s) this would apply. They sent a Notice of Intention to dispose repossessed vehicle, which states the reasons why a person does NOT have the right to reinstate, and they specially state the reason I do not have the right to reinstate, which falls under the section entitled: VEHICLE JEOPARDY/ 3RD PARTY. This is how that reads: The buyer, any other person liable on the contract,or any permissive user in possession of the motor vehicle has committed or threatens to commit acts of destruction, or has failed to take care of the motor vehicle in a reasonable manner, so that the vehicle has become substantially impaired in value, or the buyer or any other person liable on the contract or any non occasional permissive user in possession of the motor vehicle has failed to take care of the vehicle in a reasonable manner so that the vehicle may become substantially impaired in value. WHAT THE HECK DOES THIS MEAN? It was very well taken care of and I don't see how this applies to me at all. Besides, why didn't they mention this before? They never said there was any damage to the vehicle or it was poorly taken care of. They just keep telling me they were repossessing it because they felt a third party had been in possession of it, or had access to it, therefore it was in the Banks best interest if they did not reinstate the loan. Since originally my loan was with Whichever and Wells Fargo bought them, I believe after the repossession proceedings, they found out my contract states; It is ok for a 3rd party to have permissive use, as well as non occasional drivers. So this is all they could find, that may POSSIBLY apply to my situation, so I didn't have the right to reinstate my loan. So do I need to get witnesses like the mechanic and the owner of the shop where it was being repaired, to write a declaration of the condition? ? Or the person where it was being stored prior to being repaired,to write a declaration?

Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 6 years ago.

The "may" language you quoted gave them the discretion to reinstate if they wanted to or not reinstate if they wanted to. That language gives them flexibility but is not designed to give you any right. Once you paid outside the grace period, then you are in default and they can repossess at any time. You really have no recourse if you cannot negotiate a deal with the dealer. As a last resort you can try a lawsuit and the hassle of that may lead them to agree to reinstatement but there is no assurance of this result.


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