Personal Effects Q&A Information

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(Q) What is done with personal effects inside of a repossessed vehicle?

(A)  Personal effects shall be removed from the collateral, including any personal effect that is mounted but detachable from the collateral by a release mechanism. A complete and accurate inventory of the personal effects shall be made, and the personal effects shall be labeled and stored by the licensee for a minimum of 60 days in a secure manner, except those personal effects removed by or in the presence of the debtor or the party in possession of the collateral at the time of the repossession. It is required that the repossession agency notify the consumer of this inventory by a written notice or by personal service with the limits prescribed by law (B&P Code 7507.9)

(Q) May a repossession agency charge a fee for storing personal effect?

(A) YES! A licensee may charge the debtor for storing personal effects B&P Code 7507.9 and 9(d)states in part “The inventory shall include; an itemization of all personal effects and storage charges that will be made by the repossession agency.” A licensee my not charge a legal owner for storage of personal effects, unless specifically agreed to at the time of the assignment or at a subsequent time.

(Q) What is to be done with deadly weapons contained in or on a collateral at the time of repossession?

(A) Deadly weapons and dangerous drugs shall be turned over to a local law enforcement agency for retention. These items shall be entered on the inventory and a notation shall be made as to the date, time and the place the deadly weapon or dangerous drugs was turned over to the law enforcement. A receipt from the law enforcement shall be maintained in the records of the repossession agency. [B&P Code 7507.9(b)(1)]


(Q) What is to be done with combustibles after being removed from a repossession?

(A) Combustibles shall be inventoried and noted as “disposed of dangerous combustible” and disposed of in a safe manner. [B&P 7507.9(b)(2)]

(Q) Is it lawful for a re-possessor to take or use personal effects that are connected to the collateral at the time of repossession? (Example boat or trailer)

(A) YES! “Nothing prohibits the using of personal effects that are connected, a joined or affixed to the collateral through an unbroken sequence, if that use or taking is reasonably necessary to effectuate the recovery in a safe manner or to protect the collateral or personal effects.” [B&P Code 7505.2]