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Loren, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 33005
Experience:  30 years experience in general legal matters.
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I'm writing on behalf of my boyfriend. His car was

Customer Question

Hi there,
I'm writing on behalf of my boyfriend. His car was repossessed last Friday for being slightly late on the payments. Upon backing his car out on the towtruck, he was negligent and crashed the car into my boyfriend's other car parked in the driveway. The tow truck driver did not leave a note or anything. The towing company is offering to pay for the damages of both cars which amount to at least $5000 in damages. Wells fargo is the bank...can they charge him thousands of dollars to get the car back or are there limits? Can the bank be liable too since they hired this negligent towing company? Is it worth getting an attorney over and can he sue for damages beyond the cost of repair and rental car costs? Thank you.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Loren replied 11 months ago.

Good evening. I am Loren, a licensed attorney. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

Unfortunately, the bank can charge late fees, attorney fees, repo charges, interest, etc., and it can add up to thousands of dollars in excess of the principal amount owed on the car loan with interest..

The bank would not be liable for the negligence of the tow truck driver, unless they somehow knew of a problem with this particular driver or his company. That could translate to negligence on the part of the bank.

It is not likely to be worth getting an attorney, since property damage is reimbursed dollar for dollar. There isn no additional recovery, but he can sue for loss of use (i.e. a rental car).

Expert:  Loren replied 11 months ago.

I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. If you had to guess, do you think banks automatically hire attorneys in these cases and do you have just an idea on what it could cost beyond what is owed on the car? He owes about $9,000. He is willing to pay the car off. Do they have a right to keep the car without allowing him the right to reinstate the loan or pay the car off? I heard no.
Expert:  Loren replied 11 months ago.

The banks have attorneys on retainer for everything

California Civil Code forces the lender to reinstate the loan if all past due amounts are paid, unless the legal owner can prove that your boyfriend did one of the following:

  • Provided false information on the loan application
  • Hid the vehicle in order to avoid repossession
  • Damaged, or threatened to damage, the vehicle in a way that reduces its value
  • Committed, or threatened to commit, violence against anyone involved repossessing the vehicle
  • Used the vehicle in the commission of a criminal offense
  • The right to reinstate the loan contract is limited to once every 12 months, and twice over the life of the contract.
Expert:  Loren replied 11 months ago.

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