Auto lenders usually flag cars for repossession once loan payments fall 90 days behind. This means a “repo” man (or woman) will be on the prowl with a tow truck to legally take the vehicle, hold it for 30 days, and then auction it off.
Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. If you haven’t already, you might consider hiding your car from the repo man. Not forever, clearly, just long enough to get caught up.
Can you conceal your vehicle to evade repossession?
Yes, hiding your car from the repo guy is a simple and effective way to avoid repossession in the short term. Yet even though you can doesn’t mean you should. Repo men are trained professionals who know all the tricks.
Absolutely, you might have the capacity to conceal your vehicle for a short while, but abandon it in a parking area for 15 minutes, and it might vanish.
Repo men don’t give up and rarely sleep (presumably). Plus, the longer it takes for “the hook” to locate the vehicle, the higher the late fees will be.
While you might not go to jail for hiding your car to avoid repossession, you’ll unlikely be buying another on credit again soon.
Fear not, for in this guide, I’ll reveal the best ways to hide a car from the repo guy. I’ll also answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about car repossession, including:
- How long will a repo man look for a car?
- Can you get a repossessed car back?
- How long does a repossession stay on your credit?
Note: This guide does not encourage hiding your car to avoid repossession. Instead, it’s meant to ensure your efforts are fruitful and buy you more time to get the loan current.
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Best Ways To Hide Your Car From The Repo Guy
1. Lock The Vehicle In A Garage Or Gated Compound
A vehicle cannot be legally taken by a repo man if it is secured in a closed area. A garage will work, but make sure to not leave the door unattended and open for a long time. Many clever repo men have been shared on social media.
If you don’t have a garage or dislike the feeling of having your home watched, a nearby gated compound also works if you “know a guy.”
2. Disable GPS Location Tracking
Tracking a vehicle is easy and can even be done on a smartphone.
While it’s improbable your car is bugged, it probably has a built-in GPS system the repo man can use to locate it.
Some examples include LoJack, OnStar, and any other manufacturer-specific GPS service. If you’re hiding from the repo guy, cancel any subscriptions and consider removing the physical transmitter box.
3. Exchange Cars With A Friend
Another of the best ways to hide a car from a repo guy is to trade with a friend. This works best when that friend lives in another state, so it’s harder to track.
Make sure you don’t swap with someone who’s also dodging repossession. Repo guys often scan the plates of any cars they see while scouting a property, so you may both get caught.
4. Sell The Vehicle
Regarding how to completely prevent the repo person from seizing your vehicle, one option is to trade it, as long as you locate a purchaser willing to pay off your existing debt.
Lenders will not stop the repossession process or release a vehicle’s title to someone else if there’s a loan balance. Remember, you must also pay any incurred repossession fees before selling the car.
Car Repossession: FAQs
Lenders usually give repo companies 30 days to return vehicles before pursuing legal action.
This doesn’t mean they stop searching, but now they might try to charge you with theft, so repo guys and police might be hunting for you.
Bigger banks often require loans be paid in full, including any repo costs, once the process has begun.
Local banks or in-house lenders may be more receptive to returning a repossessed car. Just know it likely involves making a sizeable payment.
A car repo will stay on your credit report for seven years. Once removed, dealers and lenders will not see that you previously had a vehicle repossessed.
One exclusion to this rule is if you’re applying for a loan at the same lender as the repo.
Should You Hide Your Vehicle From The Repo Man?
If you cannot pay your auto loan current, it’s better to “voluntarily surrender” the vehicle than have it taken. Not only will you avoid repossession fees, but the lender might negotiate to avoid the repo entirely.
Therefore, should you conceal your automobile from the repo man? Most likely not, but it may serve as a useful temporary strategy for extending your time until payday.