Can a bank report a car stolen or have a warrant issued for your arrest if they are attempting to repossess a car but cannot locate it?
I am wondering how far a bank/collection agency can go to retrieve a car they are trying to repossess? A friend of mine recently lost his job and is fighting to receive his unemployment. He has missed several payments on his car due to his job loss but has appealed the denial of his unemployment and has secured another job but at substantially lower pay. In the meantime, the creditor has been harassing him and his family in 2 different states (by phone and in person) threatening to have a warrant issued for his arrest as well as reporting the car stolen. He has every intention of paying the past due amount within the next month after his unemployment appeal court hearing, and has even offered to make weekly payments until that time which the creditor said would not stop the repossession. I was under the impression that the creditor could not report the car stolen as long as it was still titled in his name. So shouldn't the creditor's next step be to get a court order for return of the vehicle before they initiate any type of criminal charges? I also spoke to a local attorney who I know personally that told me that it is illegal to even threaten criminal prosecution for a civil matter. Is this accurate?
What your friend the lawyer is referring to is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and he is indeed correct: you can not threaten criminal proceedings in an attempt to collect a debt owed. Repossession is a bit different. They generally have a right to come after the car but they can bot do anything to breach the peace. You state that they are willing to come to an agreement on a temporary basis anyway n order to allow your friend to get back on his feet. Make sure that you get this agreement in writing and that you take it to some one to read before he signs it. He may be agreeing to modify the original agreement that may be detrimental to himself. Good luck.