Kent, WA asked in Consumer Law for Oregon

Q: A tow truck driver attached my car and lifted it while me and one other person was in the car.

He refused to drop my car. He then called the police and they said since the car has already been hooked up we had to get out. I lost my car and cant afford to get it out. I also dislocated my pinkie when he lifted my car . Im in the state of oregon. Do I have rights here?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael D. O'Brien
Michael D. O'Brien
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: The repo guy is not supposed to "breach the peace" in repossessing a car - did they know you were in it? I am not surprised that once it was hooked up they wouldn't drop it. As for your rights - you may have an action for damages against the repo company and could consider filing a small claims lawsuit with the local county court (they have easy forms to fill out and you can do so without a lawyer) or meeting with a lawyer to explore a demand. There are Oregon laws that allow for attorney fee-shifting (meaning if you win, the repo company would have to pay your attorney fees) in small disputes. As far as getting your car back (if that is what you seek) this would involve a negotiation with the party who ordered the repossession in the first place (a lender?) and they are likely under no obligation to return it to you unless you pat all the repo costs/storage fees and whatever caused the repo referral in the first place. You could force a lender to give the car back with a chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you would have to assess the cost/benefit of doing so and would have to prove insurance on the car.

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