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Does asset forfeiture include repossession?

It is always difficult to lose something that you have purchased. It is even more difficult when something you've purchased is taken from you because you cannot afford it anymore. That is basically the definition of asset forfeiture, a common concern for those facing financial challenges in Orlando.

Asset forfeiture is when the state or a creditor confiscates, or takes away, assets for a recognized reason. This term is used a lot when speaking about criminal activity and possessions that are acquired as a result of said activity. However, forfeiture of assets can also apply to non-criminal activity, such as missing a certain number of car payments. As such, anytime a creditor has the right to take away personal property, asset forfeiture is at play. Those considering a bankruptcy filing may need asset forfeiture assistance from an attorney.

Repossession is a good example of this type of forfeiture. An item is repossessed in cases where there is nonpayment. Substantial purchases such as a car, a boat, and certain types of jewelry are usually done through a loan. The lender gives the money to the borrower in order to purchase the item. The loan is given with a certain set of terms and conditions regarding payment.

If you default in paying for the item, then the lender can often repossess the item and hold it until you meet the lender's conditions. In many cases your property can be repossessed without any prior written notification. So, it is possible for important items, such as a personal vehicle, to be repossessed without your knowledge.

All is not lost if repossession does occur, however. You will often have the ability and opportunity to pay off the amount of the loan. If that is not possible, some lenders may be willing to set up a more stringent payment plan so that the amount due is paid off at a more rapid rate. There may not be any guarantee that your repossessed items are not sold at auction, however, which is often an option for the lender. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help a Florida resident facing asset forfeiture understand his or her legal options.

Source: USA.gov, "Car repossessions," accessed May 19, 2015

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