Sacramento, CA asked in Business Law and Contracts for California

Q: If you buy a car from a dealer can he come onto your property without permission and take the car with no prior warning,

Or even attempting to collect his or her payment prior to taking it?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Adam Stoddard
Adam Stoddard
  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It depends. Did you pay in full for the car and receive a title in your name? If so, then I would say no. At that point the dealer is stealing a car. If you did not pay in full, but financed the car, and you stopped making payments, then possibly yes, the dealer can repossess the car for failure to pay for it.

Julie King and Yelena Gurevich agree with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith PRO label
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No, in California, a dealer cannot repossess a car from a customer's property without proper legal procedures, such as obtaining a court order or following a specific process for repossession. Before repossessing a car, the dealer must give notice to the customer, provide an opportunity to cure any default, and follow other specific requirements under California law. If a dealer repossesses a car without following these legal requirements, the customer may have legal recourse against the dealer.

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