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Massachusetts law about repossession

A compilation of laws, cases, and web sources on repossession law by the Trial Court Law Libraries.

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 case law

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

How can I avoid repossession?, MassLegalHelp. (January 2021)

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

What is repossession?, MassLegalHelp. (February 2021)

What is “voluntary repossession”?, MassLegalHelp. (January 2021)

Print sources

Collection law: debtor/creditor practice, procedure, remedies, 4th ed. (Mass. Practice v. 48 and v. 48A) Thomson Reuters 2015 with supplement. Chapter 15 Repossession of Consumer Goods. Chapter 17 Forms. Chapter 9. Use of Execution.

Consumer law, 4th ed. (Mass. Practice v. 35A and v. 36) Thomson Reuters, 2021.  
Chapter 20. Debt Collection. E. Extrajudicial Collection Practices. (8) Repossession Practices, F. Judicial Collection Practices, and G. Private Remedies for Statutory Violations. 

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.

Motor vehicle law and practice: with forms, 5th ed. (Mass. Practice v. 12) Thomson Reuters, 2021. Chapter 4. Purchase, Sale, and Lease of Motor Vehicles D. Debt Collection and Repossession.

Repossessions, 9th ed, by Carolyn L. Carter. National Consumer Law Center, 2017. (To update, requires use of online version.)



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Last updated: November 10, 2021