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I was late with one payment and the bank repossessed my car. Can it do this?

If being late on one payment is considered a default under your loan agreement, then the bank can likely repossess your vehicle.

Generally, federal banking laws or regulations do not address when a bank may repossess your vehicle. Banks must follow applicable state laws in order to repossess your car. Each bank may set its own policy on the conditions of default that will trigger repossession, as long as such conditions are disclosed in the loan agreement. Review your loan agreement for policies specific to your bank and your loan.

Last Reviewed: April 2021

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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