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1.4.6 Was the Self-Help Repossession Conducted Properly?

Article 9 allows creditors to use self-help to retake possession of collateral, and most repossessions are conducted in this way. When state law prohibits self-help repossession, or the creditor finds it inconvenient to use self-help, the creditor will probably use replevin instead, which is discussed in Chapter 5, infra.

  • ● Does state law prohibit or restrict self-help repossession for this collateral or in these circumstances? See §§ 6.3.2 to 6.3.4, infra.
  • ● Is repossession prohibited or restricted because the debtor is in the military or is a military dependent? See § 6.3.5.1, infra.
  • ● Were police officers or public officials involved in the repossession? If so, the debtor may have claims under the Due Process Clause or the Fourth Amendment. See § 6.3.6, infra.
  • ● Did the creditor breach the peace by:
  • ◦ Using force or threats?
  • ◦ Proceeding with the repossession over the debtor’s objections?
  • ◦ Involving a police officer?
  • ◦ Trespassing or breaking and entering?
  • ◦ Using trickery or deception? See § 6.4, infra.
  • ● Does the case involve the creditor disabling the vehicle with a starter interruption device or other form of “electronic repossession”? See § 6.6, infra.
  • ● Did the creditor fail to return unsecured personal property that was taken along with the repossessed collateral? See Ch. 7, infra.