The Associated Press reports that Repo men are becoming increasingly violent with debtors.

This is the story where Repo men claim that they are defending themselves when they repo a car, by shooting at debtors that are defending their property. A few thoughts on this:

It is not the bank’s car. It is not the bank’s property that the car is on. The bank has a security interest in the car, but gun play in a debtor’s yard is not the place to settle a civil dispute. That is why we have courts.

If this is typical of how repo men operate, I can see the problem. Sure, people need to pay their bills. With that being said, no one has the right to use force in a CIVIL dispute.

As a homeowner, if someone is on my property at 2 AM, I am going to investigate. If a man istrying to take my car with force, he is an aggressor and he will be dealt with, and I will meet force with force.

In Florida, it is illegal for a repo man to be armed. It is Federal law that a repo man is not allowed to create a “Breach of the Peace” in affecting a repo. I would say that a shootout is a breach of the peace.

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Anonymous · March 5, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Car loans are not like home mortgages. When you have a car loan, you do not have the title to the vehicle, the bank does. The bank legally owns the car.

Divemedic · March 5, 2009 at 7:39 pm

That is incorrect. the bank has a security interest in the car, that is, they are the lien holder. All this means is that the car cannot change owners until the lien is satisfied.

They do not own the car. That is a common misconception. Federal law states that a repo agent cannot use force or create a breach of the peace in repossesing a car.

Anonymous · November 24, 2010 at 6:19 pm

YOU are incorrect. A lienhiolder can very easily take the title and put that title in the banks name only because they are the LEGAL owners. where the "registered owner" cannot. The car is not legally owned by the "registered owner" until they actually pay for it. I think it is funny that these people finance a car, dont pay for it and then blame everyone else around them for repo man coming to their house. They have a very dangerous job and if they need to protect themselves then so be it. Pay your bills and you dont need to worry about it. Or give it back if you cant pay for it. It is very easy to do and its called acting like an adult, not throwing a childish tantrum. It should be the homeowners that are making these situations a "breach of peace." You cant drive it for free.

Divemedic · November 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Actually, no.
1 See Florida Statute 493.6115 specifically prohibits repossession agents from carrying weapons or firearms while performing their jobs, even if they have a concealed weapons permit.

2 Florida 493.6118 provides that it is unlawful to use force to carry out a repossession.

3 Florida 319.28 states that a vehicle can be sold by a lien holder or the owner. If the lien holder was the owner, then there would be no reason to separate the two.

Any laws or evidence to support your position, or are you just running your mouth?

Divemedic · March 17, 2011 at 1:48 am

Also, here is some case law for you:

This court has recognized that a
"mortgage is only a lien" that "transfers no title, right of
possession, or interest in land," and "a mortgagee has no right
to maintain a suit to remove or prevent a cloud on title."
Martyn v. First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n of W. Palm
Beach, 257 So.2d 576, 577-78 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App. 4th DCA

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