While the vast majority of customers undoubtedly enter into a purchase agreement or lease fully intending to make all the scheduled payments for the car, the equipment, or some other item of personal property, the reality is that some of those purchasers are going to default . In those situations, a secured party or lessor can often recover their “collateral” themselves through a “self-help” repossession – they find the car on the street and send out a repossession agent to recover the vehicle. However, self-help repossession can only be used if the “repo” can be performed without a “breach of the peace.” That effectively means that if a vehicle or other piece of equipment is found indoors, is behind a fence, or is garaged, it is beyond the scope for a normal self-help repo.
In such situations (and in situations where the location of the collateral or the delinquent customer is unknown), a secured creditor or lessor must turn to a judicial action known most commonly as “replevin.” An action for replevin (in Nevada referred to as an action for Claim and Delivery), is a judicial action where the secured creditor or lessor files a lawsuit for breach of contract or breach of lease and, concurrently, asks the court to issue a pre-judgment writ of possession/replevin authorizing the sheriff or constable to enter a garage or structure or fenced area and seize the collateral. The Law Office of Hayes & Welsh has years of experience in recovering personal property via replevin or claim and delivery and dealing with courts and the constables/sheriffs who execute on the writs.
What happens, however, if the vehicle is not in the garage or the equipment has been removed to some other unknown location? For years many secured creditors have simply proceeded to get a money judgment on the unpaid balance due on the loan (effectively abandoning the collateral) and tried to collect the delinquent amount from the debtor (often with limited success). They do not need to choose one path over the other. Secured creditors and lessors do not need to abandon recourse to their collateral in favor of a money judgment alone. Nevada law allows secured creditors and lessors to obtain a final money judgment and final judgment for replevin so that they can execute on their collateral if they eventually locate it. The Law Office of Hayes & Welsh has successfully employed this strategy in situations where the collateral (and even the debtor) cannot be found. You don’t need to abandon hidden collateral in favor of a money judgment alone.
The attorneys at Law Office of Hayes & Welsh are experienced at representing secured creditors and lessors throughout the replevin process in Nevada, including coordinating with the constable and sheriffs who will execute on any writ. Give us a call today to discuss your situation and the best course of action for you.