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legal steps for repossession of car in MA

Hello. My lender is threatening verbally to repossess my car. I'm behind on the payments but I'm doing everything I can to make the payments. Do you have any tips about what I should be doing to protect myself and prolong the repossession process until I can get some money together? I live in Massachusetts.

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There are some very effective Massachusetts laws in place to protect consumers in automobile repossessions, and if the lender violates these laws the consumer may be entitled to damages plus attorney's fees and costs.  First thing you should do is save each and every bit of paper you are sent by the lender or its agents regarding the loan and/or repossession.  This paper trail may become extremely important if you later attempt to enforce your rights under Massachusetts law.  Be aware of the following aspects of Massachusetts law:


1.  First, the lender is required to provide to you a written notice of its intent to cure the default and seize the car at least 21 days before the seizure. Among other things, the notice must include language that spells out the "Rights of Defaulting Buyers under the Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Installment Act."


2. If you are unable to cure the loan default and your lender seizes your car, it must provide a second notice that informs you that you have 20 days to cure the default BEFORE the car can be auctioned.


3.  Finally, even if the car does go to auction, you are entitled to have your account credited by the fair market value of the car, regardless of how much the car fetches at auction.


If you feel that your lender is not following the rules, contact a Massachusetts consumer protection lawyer ASAP.  He or she may be able to provide significant relief.  And, as mentioned above, in many cases you may be able to recover your attorney's fees at court or as part of a settlement.  Good luck.


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