When you buy a car on credit, the creditor usually has a security interest in the car. This means the creditor can repossess the car if you default on your payments.
Creditors cannot repossess the car unless they do so peacefully. You have the right to tell the creditor who comes to your door to tow your car away that he or she cannot have the car and must leave your property. It is against the law for the creditor to tow your car and remain on your property after you tell the creditor not to do so.
If you tell the creditor that he or she cannot have your car, the creditor will have to get a court order to get the car back.
If the creditor breaks the law in taking back your car, you have the right to sue the creditor in court.
Once the car is towed, the creditor will in all likelihood sell it. The creditor must provide you with written notice of the time and location of the sale. Before the car is sold, you can get it back if you pay the amount due or work out a payment agreement with the creditor.
If the creditor sells the car but does not get enough money to pay off the debt, you are responsible for the balance. This is the case even if you gave up the car voluntarily. The creditor has the right to sue for the balance. However, if the creditor breaks the law in repossessing or selling the car, you might not have to pay the balance and could possibly sue the creditor. If you are sued for the balance after repossession, see an attorney immediately.