Short Answer — GM Financial handles repossessions on a case-by-case basis. Though state laws allow lenders to initiate a repossession as soon as after one missed payment, GM will likely not initiate a repossession that quickly. It will consider your payment history and how long your payment is overdue. You can help your situation by communicating with GM Financial early and clearly.
GM Financial Repossession Policy
GM Financial’s repossession policy varies from case to case. The main factors GM Financial takes into account are the terms of the contract, your transaction history, and how late your payment is. If you miss one payment or your payment is a few days past due, it’s unlikely that GM Financial will start the repossession process right away. If your payment is 40 days late and GM hasn’t heard from you, they will likely send someone to repossess your car. 
However, it’s best to communicate your financial situation to GM Financial as soon as possible. The lender is less likely to repossess your vehicle if you explain your situation and try to work something out. For example, the company allows customers to request a payment extension by calling GM Financial customer service at (800) 284-2271. Of course, if you’re already too far behind on payments, GM Financial may be unwilling to work with you and will likely initiate a repossession.
Notice of Default and Repossession
Most states require lenders to give notice to those whose loans are in default before they pursue repossession (as we’ve previously reported). GM Financial must comply with state laws, so you will likely receive written notice before the lender attempts to repossess your car.
Vehicle repossession typically involves a repossession agent coming to your home or place of work. If the vehicle is in plain sight, the agent may claim it immediately. If it is in a garage or is blocked in such a way that it cannot be easily loaded on a tow truck, the agent will likely come to your door and ask for access to the vehicle. It is illegal to purposefully obstruct a repossession, but repossession agents are also not allowed to use physical force or in any way breach the peace while performing a repossession.
Reclaiming Your Car After Repossession
Additional options after repossession may include reinstatement or redemption, depending on your loan contract and your state’s laws. For loan reinstatement, you’ll need to pay any past-due amounts, plus late fees and other charges as determined by the lender. To redeem your car, you can pay the entire outstanding balance of the loan, including any extra fees.
Both of these options allow you to get your car back, though if your contract doesn’t explicitly mention them, be aware that not all states provide the right to reinstatement or redemption. Some GM Financial customers have reported getting their loan reinstated by discussing their situation with customer service. If your contract is eligible for reinstatement or redemption, you should contact GM Financial for assistance and ask them for a quote.
GM Financial may also choose to sell your car at auction after repossessing it — if it does this, you’ll be notified before the sale, and you’ll have the opportunity to buy the car back before it’s sold (as previously reported). If you don’t buy the car back and it’s sold at auction, you’ll still owe the remaining balance for the car after the sale.
For more about what to do after a GM Financial repossession, see our article explaining your rights after repossession.