Personal Property in Repossessed Vehicles

There are more and more articles being published lately on this topic.  Whether you are a big repossession company, or a one lot dealership most of the requirements are the same. 

You have to remove the property, account for it, and make a list of what is in the vehicle.

You have to keep the property together in a "secured and monitored" location with the list attached. 

You basically must keep the list in the customer file for the rest of the note and beyond.

You have to let the customer know that you have the property available for them to claim, if they choose.  Have a form with all your information and the customer information already entered that they sign and date when they claim their property. 

You have to give the customer a period of time in which they have to pick up the property (this is defined by the state where you operate).

If the customer does not come after their property, you have to dispose of it.  AND, of course, there are rules about how that can be done. 

This seems like a lot, but squabbles about personal property can equal legal entanglements that you really just do not need.  

Everyone should look at their personal property practices and make sure the customer, your operation, and your employees are protected.

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  • This also protects against the , "I had a $100 bill in the console." Having 2 people inventory and document the contents just adds a level of security. As stated in compliance, having a system in place and being consistent reduces the opportunity for theft and potential false (and real) claims from the customer. 

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      • Joyce Guest
      • Senior Consultant
      • Joyce_Guest
      • 1 yr ago
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      Roger Newton  Oddly enough a friend of mine had a phone call yesterday about that exact issue.  Someone they knew was asking what they could do since their vehicle had been picked up. Apparently the allegation was there was property that came up missing.  Real or not, that person was upset.  Upset people tend to tell far more friends about bad things than good, which damages the dealership's reputation.  

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    • Joyce Guest I'm actually surprised it doesn't happen more often. 

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