Vehicle Levy / Repossession
Much like a garnishment action, repossession or vehicle levy generally occurs suddenly and without your consent. It can be a disturbing and embarrassing experience to have your vehicle repossessed while your neighbors or coworkers are watching.
While the resulting action of having your vehicle taken involuntarily is the same in both instances, it is generally called a repossession when a loan on the vehicle itself is what has been defaulted on and a levy when it is taken for the payment of a debt which is not secured by the vehicle.
To be clear, in Florida, your vehicle may be taken by creditors to pay certain delinquent debts even though you have no car payment and own title to the vehicle free and clear. This process is referred to as levy in aid of execution and is carried out by the Sheriff's Office at the request of a judgment creditor.
The levy and repossession process requires the creditor to strictly follow a series of steps to move the process forward. As in the garnishment process, certain exemptions to which you may be eligible for must be affirmatively raised or are deemed waived. There are short, strict timelines involved in these processes and you should have an experienced attorney assess your case so that you take advantage of the protection the law makes available to you.
If you do nothing, the property (its usually a vehicle) will be sold at auction to the highest bidder for cash. After the costs of the process are distributed, any remainder is applied to the debt. If the sale price of the vehicle minus the costs of the sale aren't enough to cover the debt, you remain liable for the remaining amount and the creditor is free to continue to seek payment of the amount remaining on the judgment plus legally collectible costs and interest.
In almost every case, the levy/repossession and sale process is not an ideal way to have a debt paid because there is generally very little money left to pay the debt after the costs of the levy are deducted.
If your vehicle has been repossessed or taken as a result of a levy, Contact me to discuss the options available to you under Florida and federal law. I have handled dozens of vehicle levys in Florida and I am intimately familiar with the process and procedures which are required, and how to effectively handle such cases.
The Law Office of Alex McClure provides services in Lake Mary, Sanford, Longwood, Deltona, Deland and all of Seminole, Volusia, Orange, Brevard and Lake Counties.