Massachusetts law about repossession

Laws, cases, and web sources on repossession law.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or if you have a specific question, please contact our law librarians for assistance.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

Consumer credit

MGL c. 255, § 13I Default; curing default 

MGL c. 255, § 13J Repossession

Motor vehicles

MGL c. 255B, § 20A Default; curing default

MGL c. 255B, § 20B Repossession

MGL c. 255B, § 20C Repossession notice to police

MGL c. 90D, § 17 Title transfer following repossession

Retail installment sales

MGL c. 255D, § 21 Default; curing default

MGL c. 255D, § 22 Repossession

Vessels (boats)

MGL c. 255, § 17 Liens on vessels; enforcement

Writ of execution (process to enforce a judgment for the payment of money)

MGL c. 235 Judgment and execution

Court rules

Selected cases

Williams v. American Honda Finance Corporation, 479 Mass. 656 (2018) 
The fair market value of a repossessed car is not the fair market retail value. The pre- and post-sale notices "must describe the deficiency as the difference between the fair market value of the collateral and the debtor's outstanding balance." See U.S. First Circuit Opinion at Williams v. American Honda Finance Corporation, 907 F.3d 83 (1st Cir. Mass. 2018).


Affidavit of repossession, Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Web sources

Answers to common bankruptcy questions, Mass. Legal Help, 2024.
Bankruptcy can "[s]top repossession of a car or other property. It can also get back property after it was repossessed."

My car was taken from me. What do I need to know?, Mass. Attorney General.
Learn your rights if your car is repossessed.

Vehicle repossession, Federal Trade Commission.
"If you don’t make your car payments on time, your lender might have the right to take your car without going to court or telling you first. Here’s what to do if you can’t make car payments or if your car is repossessed."

What are my rights when debt collectors contact me?, Mass. Legal Help, 2024.
"[I]f you stop paying an auto loan, the debt collector may be able to take your car. Debt collectors do not have to go to court to repossess 'secured' items."

Print sources

Handbook of civil procedure in the Massachusetts district court, 5th ed., Lawyers Weekly, 2018 with supplement.
Chapter 11. Execution and Chapter 20. Repossession of Motor Vehicles.

Massachusetts Practice:

Repossessions, 10th ed., National Consumer Law Center, 2022. (To update, it requires use of online version.)

Contact   for Massachusetts law about repossession

Last updated: March 11, 2024

Help Us Improve  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.