Vehicle Being Towed Away

Breach of Peace (BOP) in repossession law refers to actions taken during the car repossession process that breach the peace, cause disruption, or instigate confrontation. It’s a fundamental concept that dictates the boundaries within which a lender or a repo agent can repossess a vehicle without violating the law or the individual’s rights, even if you are late on your car payments. If you think the peace was breached during a recent repossession or repossession attempt contact Thompson Consumer Law Group for a free no obligation case review. That your car was repossessed is not the end of the story, FIGHT BACK and pursue legal action.        

The definition of BOP can vary by jurisdiction and is subject to interpretation based on specific circumstances. However, it generally encompasses any actions that lead to disturbances, public commotion, or confrontations during the car repossession process. It’s crucial to note that the law prioritizes avoiding aggressive or confrontational methods during repossession.

Examples of Breaches of the Peace During Repossession

Trespassing: A repossession agent who trespasses on private property during the repossession may be breaching the peace, even for consumers who are behind on their car payments.

Physical Force, Intimidation or Threats: Repo agents using threats, intimidation tactics, or aggressive behavior toward the borrower or other individuals present during the repossession process breach the peace.

Forceful Entry or Damage: Forcibly breaking into a property or causing damage to property while attempting repossession is a clear breach of the peace. And a repo man may never enter a locked garage without permission.  

Disturbance of Public Peace: Creating a public disturbance, such as loud confrontations or altercations while repossessing a vehicle in a public place, constitutes a breach of the peace, even if you are a car payment behind.

Breach of Peace doesn’t only encompass physical actions but also includes psychological distress or emotional disruption caused by aggressive or confrontational behavior during repossession.

Avoiding a breach of the peace is crucial for lenders and repo agents to execute a repossession legally and ethically. Repo agents are legally obligated to repossess a vehicle peacefully without causing disturbances, confrontations, or trespassing on private property.

If a repossession agent breaches the peace, even where you are behind on your car loan, it can lead to legal repercussions for the finance company and/or repo agent. This can include legal actions against them, potential fines, or even the requirement to return the repossessed vehicle to the borrower.

Understanding how the peace may be breached during repossession empowers individuals to recognize when their rights might be violated and allows them to seek legal recourse if necessary. It’s pivotal for borrowers to be aware of their rights and the boundaries repo agents must respect during the repossession process to ensure a fair and lawful procedure. 

If you think your repo rights were violated get a free no obligation case review from the repo rights Wrongful Repossession Lawyers at Thompson Consumer Law Group.   

Does Entering Private Property Constitute a Breach of Peace?

The legality of entering private property during vehicle repossession hinges on various factors, including the circumstances, permissions, and the methods employed. Repo agents and lenders must navigate legal boundaries to conduct repossession without breaching the peace or infringing upon an individual’s property rights. Generally, to prove a trespassing breach of the peace you will need actual evidence of the repo agent’s trespass, such as video, picture or witness statements.     

1. Open Areas vs. Closed Spaces:

Repo agents have legal rights to repossess vehicles from open and accessible areas of private property, such as driveways or open garages, without breaching the peace. However, accessing closed or locked spaces, like closed garages or fenced areas, without proper authorization constitutes a breach of peace.

2. Permission and Authorization:

If the borrower grants explicit permission or the lender obtains legal authorization (such as a court order or explicit clauses in the loan agreement) to access a closed space for repossession, it typically doesn’t constitute a breach of peace. In such cases, the repo agent can lawfully proceed with repossession without violating property rights.

3. Forceful Entry and Trespassing:

Forceful entry into a closed area or trespassing onto private property without permission or lawful authorization constitutes a clear breach of peace. Repo agents or lenders using coercive methods, bypassing barriers, breaking locks, or breaching property boundaries, are violating the law and breaching the peace during repossession.

4. Local Laws and Jurisdiction:

Repossession laws can vary by jurisdiction, and local ordinances might dictate specific guidelines regarding property access during repossession. Understanding these laws is crucial, as they determine the legality of entering private property for repossession purposes.

In essence, while repossession agents can access open areas of private property without breaching the peace, accessing closed or secured spaces like a locked garage without proper authorization (such as a court order) or permission constitutes a breach. Repo agents must operate within legal boundaries and respect property rights to conduct repossession lawfully and ethically. If you were victimized by a repo agent who did not follow these or other repo laws, contact Thompson Consumer Law Group for a free no obligation analysis of your situation.    

Legal Recourse for Breach of Peace

If repossession involves a breach of peace—such as unauthorized entry or trespassing—individuals have legal recourse. They can seek legal advice, document the breach, and potentially take legal action against the car loan company or repo agent for violating their property rights or causing distress during repossession.

Understanding the nuances of property access and breach of peace during repossession empowers individuals to recognize when their property rights might be infringed upon. It highlights the importance of legal authorization and respecting property boundaries to ensure a lawful and peaceful repossession process.

Tow Truck Warning Sign

A Repossession Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights

Having a consumer rights repossession lawyer by your side is pivotal when facing a potential breach of peace repossession. They safeguard your rights, ensuring that the repossession process complies with the law and doesn’t infringe upon your privacy or property rights.

A lawyer focusing in repossession law comprehends the nuances of the legal framework, ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the process. They scrutinize the circumstances of the repossession, ensuring that no breaches of peace occurred, and offer guidance on potential legal actions if your rights were violated.

Additionally, if a repo man takes your vehicle from your private property, such as your closed or locked garage, without proper authorization or through a breach of peace, you may have grounds to sue the lender. A repo rights lawyer can assist in assessing the situation, determining if the repossession violated your rights, and advocating for fair resolution, potentially seeking compensation, correction of negative credit report entries related to the repossession and even attorney fees.