What Are the Repossession Laws in Missouri?

Car lenders in Missouri can repossess a car, try to sell it and then collect the difference between the sale price and remaining loan balance, according to Nolo. Lenders can repossess a car without a court order in Missouri, notes attorney Douglas B. Breyfogle.

Before a car loan company takes a vehicle in repossession, it must notify the owner. Licensed repossessors cannot take a car without breaching the peace, which means someone can’t forcibly take the vehicle or threaten someone before taking the vehicle, according to Breyfogle.

Lenders can keep the car or sell it at an auction. An owner can keep the car by paying the entire balance of the loan, bringing the loan current and getting the financing reinstated, purchasing the car at an auction, or filing for bankruptcy protection, notes Breyfogle. Lenders don’t have to reinstate the loan after the borrower becomes current. If lenders auction the car, an owner can buy it back but still must pay the difference between the sale price and the loan balance. This difference is called the deficiency. If someone files for bankruptcy, collection and repossession procedures will stop until the court decides what to do with the vehicle.

In Missouri, owners have 21 days to cure the deficit of a loan before a repossession takes place and after the lender issues a Right to Cure letter, according to Midwest Lenders Services. License plates remain with the debtor once a vehicle is repossessed.