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The actions of a lender to take possession of personal property in which it has a security interest, or the actions of a landlord to take possession of leased premises after default. Repossession may be by court order, or it may be self-help, as when the automobile repo person takes a car in the dead of night. Self-help repossession is generally allowed unless prohibited by specific consumer protection statutes,but it must be accomplished without a breach of the peace. Some courts define “breach of the peace” as shouting, threats of violence, or any sort of public disturbance.Others hold that repossession in the face of the debtor's oral statements to cease and desist is a breach of the peace, but that does not preclude the creditor from returning later to attempt repossession when the debtor is not present.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Taking possession of property that was earlier sold on an installment contract because the buyer defaults on payment of the debt.
Copyright © 2008 H&R Block. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission from H&R Block Glossary