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Before I begin, please realize that repossession agents understand that we all get into difficult situations. The job that repo agents do is not easy. They have families, and they have seen your situation so many times, it is not difficult for them to put themselves in your shoes. What ever led to the situation of you losing your vehicle, it was not the making of the repo agent. He is only there to do a job.

Now, it depends. If the agent is carrying a legitimate order for repossession (and they all will be), and the vehicle is present and in a towable position, then no. He as the agent of the lender has every right to be there to recover the property of the lender, especially considering you likely signed a recovery agreement with the lender when you bought the vehicle.

If the vehicle is not visible, or is not in a towable position, he has the right and obligation to act in the best interest of the lender to make contact and demand the vehicle be surrendered. Many will not do this on the first or even the second visit, preferring rather to "hook and book."

If however, he has discharged his obligations and you refuse to surrender the vehicle, requesting instead that he leave, then the property being private, he has to honor your wishes. For the moment.

Keep in mind though that this will not make the repo agent happy (I'll get back to this in a moment), now will it endear you with the lender.

The lender has several areas of recourse should a debtor refuse to surrender a vehicle on which they have defaulted. Chief among these is to obtain a replevin. A replevin is an order from the court to surrender the vehicle. The repo agent will return to once again demand the vehicle, only this time accompanied by law enforcement. You will either surrender the vehicle at that time or you will be arrested for contempt of court.

Should you have any other contracts with the same lender, even if they have not been degaulted, the lender can seek a conversion of collateral and take that property instead.

The lender can sue you for the balance and recovery fees (along with court costs and legal fees) and this opens up their latitude for recovery.

Now, keep in mind that the sole purpose of repossession agents is to locate and recover vehicles. This is what they do 8-16 hours a day, up to seven days a week. Many are on call 24/7. Most are very good at what they do. Many have people like me, who are exceptionally good at what they do, working for them who do nothing but locate vehicles and other assets.

Let me apply a metaphor to this situation: Say you are being chased by a group of people with hungry bloodhounds. You are running, trying to hide while at the same time carrying with you a bloody, raw steak. It is not a question of if the dogs will find you. It is a question of when and where you will be when they do.

That being said, most of the repossession agents I know have a favorite location for recovery of difficult vehicles. They will literally watch for you, and when they see you pull into the Winn Dixie or Walmart, they will wait for you to walk into the store, hook up to your vehicle, pull it to the side, and wait for you walk out with your kids and your ice cream melting and they drive away waving with your car on the back of the truck.

Additionally, they need not watch for you themselves. Many repo companies now employ camera cars. A camera car is usually a fuel efficient vehicle with six to ten cameras mounted on it that are driven by image recognition software. When they spot a vehicle that matches the description of one that is in the system for repossession, the computer sends out an alert. The camera car driver will verify the VIN and contact the alerting agency who will dispatch the repossession agent to that location to recover it. If the vehicle moves, the camera car will follow, maintaining visual custody and reporting the new location.

If you have defaulted on your loan contract, you can run, you can hide, but not forever, and time is on the side of repossession.

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Q: Does the repo man have to leave if you tell him to?
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