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Help With Information On Repossession Laws





Triple_7
Not sure where to post this so mods feel free to move it.

In Indiana.

Here is the deal. I sold an ATV to someone who at the time was a friend of mine on the condition he made 4 monthly payments of $500 each. It was a verbal agreement at the time. He made 3 payments, a few things happened and we went our separate ways. It was mid January when I was finally able to contact him about the last payment that was due in December. He tried to say it was only $250 as well as gave a story about how it was originally stolen and he had to shell out over $400 in fees to fix the problem. That's impossible, I hold the title which was released from the bank, though its not in my name (traded an old truck for it and didn't get the title switched since it was going to be sold quickly...besides most ATV's don't even have titles when they are sold second hand) The BMV confirmed the title is legit as well as the bank that held the lean. So I filed a small claim against him. The morning of the court date he decided he would rather pay then wait all day (we were #60 on the case list that morning, they were on #2 when I got there) He couldn't do it right then but supposedly could in a couple weeks.

We signed a statement at the courthouse stating that he had 30 days to pay the remaining $500 as well as the $89 in court fees I had incurred. The judge also signed that statement. It legally bound him just as if we were in the courtroom and the judge had ordered it.

Its been 31 days and nothing, no certified mail at the post office, no payment waiting at the courthouse...and he wont answer calls. While talking with the clerk to find out what I needed to do in order to get a repossession order and go reclaim it. She said I would have to go to the courthouse and fill out more paperwork...and then it would have to go to court again before an order would be issued. Quickest date they can schedule for another hearing is the beginning of next month. I for one do not have that kind of time, I'm looking for a new job and all the offers are out of state, which if I decide to go with them I will be moving on a rather short notice.

But I can't understand why it needs to go to court again. I filed the claim, payed for the fees out of pocket, he signed the binding agreement to pay within/not to exceed 30 days, and he failed to pay up. And its not like I'm hard to find, he knows where I live, my cell phone number, and mailing address. Therefor by rights it is still my property and I should be able to reclaim it. Why does it have to go through another court date, by him not paying within the 30 day limit that should automatically give me the right to go to the courthouse and get the repo order.

So before I go to the courthouse tomorrow I'm trying to find information in Indiana's repo laws and coming up empty handed. I want to make sure I'm not getting the run around. I plan to speak with an actual judge tomorrow instead of some desk clerk. I'm tired of waiting, and tired of being cheated. That paper we signed was just as if the judge ordered it himself, legally binding, holds the same standard as any other order. So how can it need to go through another court hearing before I can reclaim my property. He had his chance to pay...and didn't. So what can another court hearing do that the last one didn't. Its my property and if I wanted to be a real arse I could report it as a theft...which technically it is Mad

All I've gained so far was finding out just how big of a liar and a cheat he actually is. Nothing but a no good scam artist. I'm not going to let this slide, its time he learned a lesson and that he tried to screw over the wrong guy. Mad
deanhills
I would go to the small court and ask about repossession there. Think that is your cheapest route with the best possibility of accurate and current information. Anything else may cost more, and looks as though this guy is not going to pay. Who knows, maybe he has already skipped States which would make everything obsolete anyway, would seem that it is even more important to find out where he is located than what the laws in Indiana are?
Triple_7
He is still alive and well. Went to the courthouse this morning. Had to file a contempt of court statement and a bunch of other paperwork. Yet another hearing set for 2 weeks. But at least I didn't have to pay any new fees...it apparently was all included in the original $89.

Still can't see why it has to go through the process again...makes no since to me but who am I to argue with the courts when I need them on my side.

A sheriff was quick for a change on delivering the papers. I no sooner got home from work and out of my truck before he rolled up on the ATV. He played buddy buddy and gave me a check for $600...which at this point I was willing to take since I'm getting behind due to cut hours at work. Said he "forgot" about it. If its been court ordered that you own someone $589 how the hell do you "forget" about it Rolling Eyes

Too late to call the courthouse and cancel hearing since the office closed, said I would do it in the morning. But he uses the same bank as me, and he must have forgot that they don't close till 6pm. Went to cash the check, but before signing it I had them run it to make sure it was good. Guess he thought he could pull on over on me. Checks no good. So screw calling the courthouse and canceling the hearing...chances are he wont even know its still on as slow as they are about getting papers in the mail. He doesn't show he will be held in contempt and get a warrant for his arrest. He would have had a better shot if he just hadn't shown up to my house. Being dumb enough to write me a bad check and expect me to actually cancel the court date before trying to cash it pretty much automatically ruins what little chance he had anyways.

Already have a buyer lined up and they are willing to give me $1200 for it. So once its in my possession again I will be coming out ahead, will make up for all the late fees I've had lately thanks to not having the money in an already hard time. I don't care if that checks good tomorrow. I'm done screwing around. I tried to give him ONE more shot and he blew it again Mad

Once a cheat always a cheat. Only this ones a pretty dumb one Rolling Eyes
standready
Contempt charges and add to that check fraud - WoW! What a jerk. Jail will love him.
Best of luck to you.
peyote
"Not sure where to post this so mods feel free to move it.

In Indiana.

Here is the deal. I sold an ATV to someone who at the time was a friend of mine on the condition he made 4 monthly payments of $500 each. It was a verbal agreement at the time. He made 3 payments, a few things happened and we went our separate ways. It was mid January when I was finally able to contact him about the last payment that was due in December. He tried to say it was only $250 as well as gave a story about how it was originally stolen and he had to shell out over $400 in fees to fix the problem. That's impossible, I hold the title which was released from the bank, though its not in my name (traded an old truck for it and didn't get the title switched since it was going to be sold quickly...besides most ATV's don't even have titles when they are sold second hand) The BMV confirmed the title is legit as well as the bank that held the lean. So I filed a small claim against him. The morning of the court date he decided he would rather pay then wait all day (we were #60 on the case list that morning, they were on #2 when I got there) He couldn't do it right then but supposedly could in a couple weeks.

We signed a statement at the courthouse stating that he had 30 days to pay the remaining $500 as well as the $89 in court fees I had incurred. The judge also signed that statement. It legally bound him just as if we were in the courtroom and the judge had ordered it.

Its been 31 days and nothing, no certified mail at the post office, no payment waiting at the courthouse...and he wont answer calls. While talking with the clerk to find out what I needed to do in order to get a repossession order and go reclaim it. She said I would have to go to the courthouse and fill out more paperwork...and then it would have to go to court again before an order would be issued. Quickest date they can schedule for another hearing is the beginning of next month. I for one do not have that kind of time, I'm looking for a new job and all the offers are out of state, which if I decide to go with them I will be moving on a rather short notice.

But I can't understand why it needs to go to court again. I filed the claim, payed for the fees out of pocket, he signed the binding agreement to pay within/not to exceed 30 days, and he failed to pay up. And its not like I'm hard to find, he knows where I live, my cell phone number, and mailing address. Therefor by rights it is still my property and I should be able to reclaim it. Why does it have to go through another court date, by him not paying within the 30 day limit that should automatically give me the right to go to the courthouse and get the repo order.

So before I go to the courthouse tomorrow I'm trying to find information in Indiana's repo laws and coming up empty handed. I want to make sure I'm not getting the run around. I plan to speak with an actual judge tomorrow instead of some desk clerk. I'm tired of waiting, and tired of being cheated. That paper we signed was just as if the judge ordered it himself, legally binding, holds the same standard as any other order. So how can it need to go through another court hearing before I can reclaim my property. He had his chance to pay...and didn't. So what can another court hearing do that the last one didn't. Its my property and if I wanted to be a real arse I could report it as a theft...which technically it is Mad

All I've gained so far was finding out just how big of a liar and a cheat he actually is. Nothing but a no good scam artist. I'm not going to let this slide, its time he learned a lesson and that he tried to screw over the wrong guy. Mad"


Still today I remember these words.
Bikerman
I can't answer for the accuracy of information you might receive in these forums and neither can frih, or any associate, member, staff or other legal entity.

I don't know of anything special about Indiana's repossession and enforcement laws, other than they have an unusual law on vehicle repossession. That being granted it seems to me to be good advice. You need some authority to go round to collect your debt. The court is that authority. It may also be necessary to engage a bailiff or other person/organisation to actually do the job - but I don't know enough about US law for that to be anything other than a possibility
BigGeek
This is so typical of small claims court. you get the judgment in your favor, but there is no enforcing authority other than you, and all you can do is go back to court, I know it sucks!

Even if the Sheriff delivers the summons, he won't arrest him, he will just deliver the summons to go to court the second time. You still have to go back to court to enforce the payment, if he refuses to pay after the second appearance, you then have to file again, the second time the sheriff will issue a warrant for his arrest, but they do not track down criminals for misdemeanor payment offenses, they will only arrest him if they pull him over or detain him for some other offense and find the warrant. Seriously messed up huh?

Ever wonder why finance companies just go ahead and repo the car after 3 missed payments? Which is illegal, reason is, they take your car, if you want to dispute their actions, you have to take them to court. They never waste time taking you to court to get a judgment for payment, wait for you to default, and take you back to court for repossession, and then take the car. would cost them too much money and time. You miss 3 payments they hire a guy to steal the car back. So few people contest this that they get away with it.

Seriously, take a key, go over to his house and take the ATV, if he complains tell him to take you to court. With his financial situation he will never do it. If you go to court the 2nd time rather than ask for payment, ask for repossession, then the police will escort you to take possession.

I've been through the same thing for a mechanics lean, guy doesn't pay his bill, file suit for payment, go to court get a judgment. By law send 3 notices to the debtor, failure to respond, go back to court, get a judgment for title, go down to the DMV file for title with the papers from the court, wait 90 days get the title in the mail, sell car recover costs. Whole process takes over 8 months Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad

In your position, the first missed payment would have resulted in me going over to his house on a midnight run, and taking the ATV, if he complained or called the cops, I would have showed them the title and filled out a stolen property report, and told them you owned it and he stole it.

Sad thing is, even if this was in writing you would be going through the same thing Shocked
ocalhoun
... An excellent example of why it's risky to be an amateur financier.

Playing repo-man and just getting it back yourself might be the best option...
BUT, if you do sell it to someone else, keep enough money to repay the first buyer what he paid so far.
-Not necessarily because you have to, but if you take away the goods AND don't refund the payments he already made, you'd be at least as bad as him.
Bikerman
Playing repo man is extremely risky. Do you know what rights you have? What if the chap refuses to play ball - can you use force? What if he claims that you injured him? From what I know of America you seem to be getting into a minefield here - and one which could easily go bang!
Are you sure that you have repossession rights? It doesn't sound like that to me. The court case established the debt - it did NOT grant a repossession order or grant you authority to take the vehicle. From what you say he already has paid for 3/4 of the vehicle so technically you could be guilty of theft if you recover the vehicle without due process.

I think you would be well advised to use the proper channels and be VERY careful about some of the more cavalier advice being handed out here.
Triple_7
Wow...didn't expect to see this post returning Shocked

It was finally settled around June last year. As much as I would have loved to just go over at night and repo it myself he kept it locked in a garage and getting charged with "breaking an entering" wasn't on my to do list Laughing I went to the second court date, he didn't show. Unfortunately I got the one judge that is known for unfair judgments. Since I had check in hand, even though it was a dud the day I had tried to cash it, I was told I would have to make another attempt to cash it, but meanwhile a contempt charge was still put against him. Figures, the bank said it was good, therefore it was cashed, I told them it was a court ordered payment and they said they would immediately take it from his account. A week later I got a notice with my account over $1300 in the hole.

They hadn't taken it from his account that day as I was told, instead they tried 2 days later and it bounced...I had already spent that $600 on bills and a couple other purchases over that 2 days, mostly using the debit card, which the bills and some stores tend to charge as credit and take a few days to be withdrawn. I had brought my account down to like a $1.50 paying everything, all the bills came out after they took the $600 back. I had $750 overdraft protection so everything was still paid. But each charge to the account over drafted is a $30 fee for the first $250...over $250 in the hole starts a $50 fee each...I had close to 15 charges that over drafted. The bank refused to take away the some $700 in fees even though technically it was their screw up.

I ordered a print out of account transactions and a copy of his bounced check. Back down to the courthouse in a rage, demanded to speak with that judge immediately, after an hour all I got was yet another court date for a week later. He showed that time. I was awarded full repossession alongside a $700 payment to be made at the courthouse within 30 days for the overdraft charges. He was also thrown in jail for falsifying documents/perjury for being dumb enough to actually bring "legal papers" that claimed it was originally stolen property when I sold it to him...One quick call to the bank that had released the title I held and a confirmation from a local officer on the VIN# took care of that false claim Rolling Eyes Mommy and daddy bailed him out within an hour though. I waited there for them as they were also bringing the $700 in cash with them to cover the judgment. So it was finally settled, a sheriff followed me back to town and I picked up my property. Sold it for $1200 within the week, so I came out ahead, lost about $400 due to missing work for court dates but ahead none the less.

It didn't end there though, that night 2 tires on my truck were slashed, couldn't prove anything, replaced them and set up a camera the next night, but it didn't matter, he was caught in the act thanks to a neighbor who stays up late, with video and a witness he was charged with vandalism, and ordered to pay damages, and 2 days salary for causing me to miss work while I replaced them, all I had to do was turn in the receipts for the 2 used tires the first round and the 4 brand new ones the second round...parents bailed him out of that one too, but I'm driving around on $950 worth of truck tires so I'm not complaining Laughing Apparently he learned his lesson that time, haven't had any problems since, I never saw an obituary so his parents didn't kill him. Sad part is, neither of us are exactly kids, I'm 22 now, and he is 25...but yet he had to be that immature about the whole ordeal. His dad still flips me the bird every time he sees me Rolling Eyes

Some people...I'll never understand them Shocked
Bikerman
So you did it by the book and got the right result. More importantly YOU are completely in the right.
It might be frustrating and it might take longer but it really is the best way to proceed methinks....
BigGeek
Right on! Good deal you got your money back and then some!

Courts do work, it just takes time, like you found out.

In your position I would have never attempted breaking into anything to take possession of the vehicle, with it locked in a shed you were pretty much left with taking him to court. I imagine trying to ask him to return the property and just give it to you was out of the question.

I was offered a job as a repo man once, years ago when I was working as a mechanic. Went to steal a truck back off a farm and got shot at with a high powered rifle. Needless to say I decided that stealing cars for a living was too risky!

I sold a car to a friend once who stiffed me with a bad check, I went over to his house and asked for the keys, he gave them to me, and the title I had signed over to him. I tore up his bad check in front of him, left and we have never spoken since. I sold the car a week later.

This one is just down right stupid, guy stiffs you, writes bad checks to you, lies in court (which is a real no no, as he found out), goes to jail for contempt, and falsifying court documents, and then gets mad and slashes your tires..........uh may be should look in the mirror to see where his problem lies!

And now the Dad flip you off......uh go figure Shocked


My father would have beat the crap out of me for doing something like that, even at 25 years of age, and made me write a formal apology to you and your family. Plus he would have never bailed me out of jail, he would have let me sit there and rot. He was a Marine though, and made a point of instilling in his children to do "the right thing" no matter what Very Happy
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