What You Need to Know About Wrongful Repossessions

No Notice Required

In a typical scenario, a finance company or bank can order the repossession of your car or truck if you fall behind on your monthly payments. The bank is not required to give you any prior notice before repossessing the vehicle. Under Arizona law, the company employed to pick up your car --- the repossession or repo company --- can take your car out of the driveway, from a parking lot at work or at the store, or from any other place you may park the car which does not have any access restrictions. They cannot go through a garage, a locked gate or fence, or anything else which blocks access to the car.

Breach of Peace

In taking possession of a vehicle, the repo company cannot take any action which would be considered a "breach of the peace." Breach of the peace includes use of bodily force, threats, trespass, deception or trickery. A repo company also cannot enter your residence without your consent, and cannot seize property over your objections. 

I have seen cases where the repossession company will stake out a home waiting for the debtor to leave with the vehicle and then follow after it. This is legal so long as It does not follow too closely, drive recklessly or otherwise try to intimidate the debtor.  Forcing the debtor off the road, or pinning them into a place where they cannot leave is also a breach of the peace.


Victims of a wrongful repossession or breach of the peace by a repossession company in Arizona can pursue damages against the repossession company and the bank for damages. The bank is liable to the damages caused by the repossession company.