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  #1  
Old 09-17-2007, 04:26 PM
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Default Is it illegal to hide a car from repossession?

Here is a legal question for you all, is it illegal in Michigan to hide a car from reposession? Would it be criminal or civil?
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:57 PM
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It would be civil! Problem is that they can go to the court and get a judgement against you and have your wages garnished if you dont come up with the car. They can also add in the costs to take it to court plus interest. A repo company can not "breach the peace" to repo a car so if they cant find it theres nothing they can do. The consequenses may be worse however.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:15 AM
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It depends on the finance company is what it comes down to; but they can't automatically go to court and garnish wages there is a whole process that has to be followed before it gets to this step and if it were to go to court the judge would more than likely request the car be returned to the bank or the person would be in contempt of court! Best thing to do is try to redeem the loan to good standing so it wouldn't come to this. Usually what ends up happening is they will harrass you and any references you used to get the loan. Depending on where you are in the loan sometimes they've been known to write off the remainder of the debt that usually only happens if you are toward the end of the loan! In most cases once they put the repo out on the car they will eventually get it!
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Old 09-22-2007, 03:29 PM
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Ok i have done this myself... What everyone has said is true but they fail to mention you can also have a warrent for grand theift auto and they can also come with a pick up warrent for the car. You do not own that car the finacing company does. Once its repoed they will sell it at auction you are then still responsible for the difference between the amount at auction sell and the amount financed. YOu dont pay this then they can go to court sue you civily and then garnish your wages up to 25%.

My outcome to all of this was chaper 11 bankrupcy. My car was repoed while I was incarcerated. I didnt have the grand theift auto warrent but was hiding my car befor my arrested (charges didnt apply to the car) Sucked because i finally serve my time got out and filed bankrupcy.
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:11 PM
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I know that it wasn't really something that was advisable but in both situations that I've known of neither of the individuals had charges pressed on them! When they are out to repo a car they will eventually get it no matter what address or employer that's listed those re-po goons are gonna find that car! Getting another car comes a dime a dozen nowadays. Most of the time when they put it out for re-po they don't even tell you.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:48 AM
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I appreciate the answers, but I'm still confused. melindaknapp, how do you know you can get a warrent for grand thieft auto? Do you know the law that states that or did you have that happen? Cause I know someone whos sucessfully hidden a car for a few years now, but they don't really drive it and keep it at a friends house. I can't believe it would be legal, but don't want them to get in trouble either.
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:23 AM
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My ex mother in law did this years ago, but it stayed at my sister in laws house a few towns over and no one drove it, they discussed putting a stolen tag on it but thats major trouble if they got stopped so she just ended up calling the bank and giving it back. Sucks for credit.
If someone is getting behind on car payments as long as it is not a buy here pay here lot they bought it at, most places will give you an extension, only till the end of the month, not sure how far behind this person is or if its too far gone to make up the payments. Hope it helps.
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:06 AM
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One thing to keep in mind, once you are in default under your loan, whether it is repossessed and sold at auction or whatever, if the case ends up in civil court, because the auction price didn't cover the outstanding loan, etc., or some other reason, you are not only liable for the outstanding loan but any repossession charges, auction charges, court costs and attorney fees incurred by the finance company.

As for people who do hide the car, sometimes for years and don't drive it, what good is the car to you? It seems all you are doing is ruining what good credit you may have by doing this.
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jariel
I appreciate the answers, but I'm still confused. melindaknapp, how do you know you can get a warrent for grand thieft auto? Do you know the law that states that or did you have that happen? Cause I know someone whos sucessfully hidden a car for a few years now, but they don't really drive it and keep it at a friends house. I can't believe it would be legal, but don't want them to get in trouble either.
If it's been a couple of years the bank has probably written the car off by now but that person is still liable for the amount owed; I've been through this and it was just like one day they stopped calling about the car and I drove that thing until it wouldn't start and the hood wouldn't open . That person can inquire with Secretary of State to see if the vehicle still has the bank lien on it; at this point if the bank wanted the car and the individual is still driving it they would have searched Secretary of State for updated address on vehicle's tags and the individuals driver's license! I know someone who's car had been out for re-po for months and had actually moved from the address listed on d/l and tags but then they updated info with SOS and within days the car was picked up at new address. You know we all have to learn from our own mistakes but as Melinda said and I am sure there are some type of charges that be brought against a person if the bank thought they were actually being intentional. But in most of the cases I've seen they usually get the vehicle or write it off and in both cases the individual is still liable to pay them back and doesn't become a civil case until all the proper steps have been taken.
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jariel
I appreciate the answers, but I'm still confused. melindaknapp, how do you know you can get a warrent for grand thieft auto? Do you know the law that states that or did you have that happen? Cause I know someone whos sucessfully hidden a car for a few years now, but they don't really drive it and keep it at a friends house. I can't believe it would be legal, but don't want them to get in trouble either.
In Michigan we don't have "Grand Theft Auto" per se - it's often called UDAA (unlawfully driving away an automobile) and it's codified at MCL 750.413 as "Taking possession of and driving away a motor vehicle." This would not apply to your situation because it sounds like the vehicle was properly leased or purchased under contract, so the "driving away" was done with lawful authority. If the vehicle was purchased, then it was titled in your name and the creditor has a lien or security interest in the vehicle that can be enforced in court.

This is not to say that you're completely out of the woods from a criminal standpoint - although I have never had a case like this, it conceivably could be charged as Larceny by Conversion - MCL 750.362 which says "Any person to whom any money, goods or other property, which may be the subject of larceny, shall have been delivered, who shall embezzle or fraudulently convert to his own use, or shall secrete with the intent to embezzle, or fraudulently use such goods, money or other property, or any part thereof, shall be deemed by so doing to have committed the crime of larceny and shall be punished as provided in the first section of this chapter." However, I think they would have to show that when you bought/leased the car, you never really intended to pay for it. You just wanted to get it in your possession so you could stop making payments and play "hide the car" until they gave up on you. That would be difficult to prove, especially if you have a history of making payments on the vehicle, and then stopped for some reason.

Also, if this is a leased vehicle, then MCL 750.362a might apply.

Please don't consider any of this actual legal advice because I don't know all of the facts of the case.

Regards,

Tom H
Attorney in Lansing
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2007, 04:41 PM
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Thanks for the info Tom, I appreciate it!
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