How late can I be before my car is repossessed?

Answer

The amount of time a person has to pay on a car loan depends on the laws governing the area they live in, as well as on contractual agreements with the car loan company. According to the Federal Trade Commission, some creditors are allowed to seize vehicles the moment the loan goes into default. Usually, default is legally defined as not making a payment on time.

Creditors have discretion on how much time they allow someone to make a car payment. According to Edmunds, grace periods vary according to factors determined by creditors. For example, a person that usually pays on time may be given more leeway than someone that always pays late.

Payment periods may also be discovered by reading the loan contract. Ultimately, the car owner is responsible to contact the lender in order to discuss delinquent payments before the lender takes action. Lenders might be agreeable to an extension of up to 30 days. If such an extension is granted, it is important to note that the car owner has 30 extra days from the regular payment due date.

If car payments extend beyond the due date and a repossession is imminent, car owners should remove all personal items from the car.

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