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Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 24870
Experience:  20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
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I am the primary on an auto loan. My ex is the co-buyer. She

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I am the primary on an auto loan. My ex is the co-buyer. She has stopped making the payments (over 30 days late on my credit report) and she refuses to give me the car back. We both reside in Georgia and the car is in Georgia. The vehicle is registered at my home address as the primary on the loan. What can I do legally to take this car back?

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Is the vehicle discussed in a marital settlement agreement at all?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We were never married nor have we ever lived together. We do have a child together out of wedlock.

Sorry, I assumed when you said "ex" that meant ex-wife and that was the reason for my question.

You can repossess the vehicle if you can do so without breaching the peace. That means that you can go onto her property at any time, without notice, and take the vehicle. But when seizing the vehicle you cannot use physical force, threats of force, or even remove the vehicle from a closed garage without her permission.

As per GA code - in taking possession a secured party may proceed without judicial process only if this can be done without breach of the peace. If not, a legal action may proceed to recover possession. See Code of Georgia Section 11-9-503

So that's your first choice.

Your second and maybe only choice is to file suit for replevin against her.

A replevin action is to recover by a person of goods unlawfully taken out of his or her possession, by means of a special form of legal process.

A replevin is used when the party that has the right to the property is unable to take custody of the collateral either because self-help repossession is not available or the debtor is refusing to give up the property. Replevins are used in places where a finance company (or you as the primary signor) cannot lawfully repossess the vehicle through self-help, so the lien holder must go to court to obtain a replevin order. They can also be used if the debtor is hiding the collateral or keeping it locked up.

You file for a writ of replevin in order to force the debtor to comply with their attempts to take custody of the property.

relpevin is not obtained in criminal court as it is just as action of civil law. It is not a theft of the collateral, but the debtor failing to complete the terms of the payment contract. The replevin only orders the return of the collateral that has a lien on it . It does not order the debtor to compensate the lien holder for any monetary losses. A replevin is no good if the item in question is no longer in existence due to its destruction or if it is unable to be located.

You file the replevin action
You file the replevin action in the local court and get an order of replevin. You may have to put up a surety bond in the matter if the court orders such.

Then once the writ is obtained most times a constable will accompany the auto repossession agent to make contact with the debtor and take custody of the collateral listed in the replevin. Sometimes a lock smith will be involved if it has been proven that the collateral is locked in a garage for example. The locksmith can safely remove the lock without damaging the entry to the building and subsequently the collateral can be retrieved.

If you are required to put up a surety bond - here is whom you can contact for such:

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Law Pro and 2 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you! Excellent Feedback!

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