American Credit Acceptance doesn’t have a standard repossession policy, corporate customer service representatives said. In general, American Credit Acceptance will work with you before resorting to repossession.
Before repossessing your car, American Credit Acceptance will attempt to contact you. The company is likely to repossess sooner if you have a short account history or often miss payments, representatives told us. Accounts that are in good standing and have a history of on-time payments usually have longer grace periods.
It is important to note, however, that many states allow repossession after just one missed payment. American Credit Acceptance will follow the repossession regulations for each state. To avoid repossession, you can contact American Credit Acceptance at (866) 544-3430 if you anticipate missing a payment.
Note: American Credit Acceptance is not to be confused with the similarly-named Credit Acceptance; see the details of Credit Acceptance’s repossession policy. For more on repossession policies at other third-party lenders, see our research on Exeter Finance and Ally Financial.
What to Do If Your Car Is Repossessed
Most lenders give you a notice before selling your car at an auction, and during this time, you can work to get the vehicle back. There are usually a few options available for you to recover your vehicle:
- Reinstate the loan: Pay what is needed to bring your account current (including late fees, missed payments, repossession fees, etc.); you will get your car back and resume payments. Note that this requires the cooperation of the lender and American Credit Acceptance may or may not allow you to reinstate your loan.
- Redeem the car: Purchase your vehicle in full, paying off not only the amount that you owe but the entire loan, plus any associated fees. As with reinstatement, this requires the cooperation of the lender.
- Buy the car back: If you contact the lender soon after repossession and are able to find out when it will sell the vehicle at auction, you may be able to bid on it and buy it back.
Note: If you’re able to recover your car, you’ll need to renew your registration and vehicle title back into your name.
In rare cases, your car may have been unlawfully repossessed. The following are signs of unlawful repossession:
- The repossession company breached the peace; companies aren’t allowed to threaten, use violence, or break into a personal property to repossess the vehicle.
- You weren’t late on payments — the lender made a mistake.
- The repossession occurred because of a lack of insurance, but you have proof of insurance.
If you believe your car has been unlawfully repossessed for one of the above reasons (or another reason), you may want to contact an attorney.
American Credit Acceptance has accrued more than 400 complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, more than half of which are related to billing and/or collections. Complaints center around hidden fees, poor customer service, and there are several reports of American Credit Acceptance not reporting on-time payments to credit bureaus.
One major complaint is the fact that virtually all of American Credit Acceptance’s payment options come with processing fees. According to the company’s website, the only ways to avoid processing fees are to enroll in autopay or mail in a physical check.