Credit Acceptance Repossession Process & Policy Explained

Vehicle being towed during repossession

Short Answer

Credit Acceptance will typically start the repossession process as soon as the first missed payment — in states where this is allowed. Some states require longer waiting periods before repossession and may also require written notice to the customer.

Credit Acceptance Repossession Policy

In most cases, Credit Acceptance will start the repossession procedure for vehicles beginning with the first missed payment, customer service representatives said. However, as with all auto loan companies, Credit Acceptance must follow each state’s laws for vehicle repossession.

In some states, lenders have to wait a certain length of time after a late/missed payment (typically about 10 days) before initiating a repossession, and the process usually begins with issuing a written notice.

Some states also allow you more time (usually about 20 to 21 days) after receiving this notice to bring your payments current.

There is no grace period for making payments, and customers can’t change their payment dates once a contract is signed, according to the Credit Acceptance FAQ page. Credit Acceptance’s repossession rate for auto loans was around 35% as of 2015. (More recent data is not available publicly.)

Legal Issues

Common customer complaints against Credit Acceptance include harassment from repossession agents; some of these instances have resulted in lawsuits. Several state governments and two federal agencies have also opened investigations into Credit Acceptance.

Additionally, it is worth noting that Credit Acceptance may file a lawsuit against the customer following repossession in order to recover the cost of the loan through wage garnishment.

In New York alone between 2010 and 2017, Credit Acceptance filed more than 17,000 lawsuits for wage garnishment after it repossessed the customers’ vehicles.

Note: American Credit Acceptance is not the same company as Credit Acceptance. See our related research for the details of American Credit Acceptance’s repossession policy.

Recovering a Car After a Credit Acceptance Repossession

Customer service representatives at Credit Acceptance were unable to tell us whether customers who have had repossessions can get their cars back.

However, Credit Acceptance customers have reported that they were required to pay the full balance of the loan, plus associated fees, in order to reclaim their vehicles after repossession.

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