Ally Financial does not provide information about its repossession timelines and policies to the public.
We contacted Ally Financial’s Redemption Center to ask about its standard policy, and we were told that it handles repossessions on a case-by-case basis.
We were also told that customer service representatives could only see the repossession schedules and fees provided by their in-house system, and not the policies that generated them.
General Repossession Standards
Typical repossession times across all lenders range from three to five months after defaulting on a loan, although some can happen within 45 days (or a month and a half).
Each individual contract states what constitutes a default — late payments that you do not repay within a certain timeframe are a typical example.
Repossession can be a very involved process for lenders, so in order to avoid it, many will try to work with borrowers who contact them quickly and explain their situation. Usually, the lender will try to modify your payments, change payment due dates, refinance your loan, or forgive various types of fees.
However, for the best chance of resolving the issue before repossession, you should contact the lender as soon as you know that you may default.
When Can Ally Financial Repossess a Car?
Once your loan is in default, most state laws permit the creditor to come onto your property to repossess your car at any time, without notice, according to FTC guidelines.
However, when seizing the vehicle, your creditor may not “breach the peace.” This means that it cannot use physical force, threats of force, or come into your closed garage to remove your car without your permission.
You can find more about your state’s repossession laws in our related research on repossession laws by state.
Note that it’s illegal to hide a vehicle from a creditor if you are in default. Ally Financial can take you to court if its repossession agents are unable to find your car.
Redeeming a Car After Repossession
Representatives for Ally Financial’s Redemption Center did tell us that borrowers can generally redeem a car if it gets repossessed. However, this can be a very expensive process.
In order to redeem your car, you will have to bring your account current on payments and then pay any additional fees associated with the redemption. These can include attorney fees, towing fees, additional interest, storage fees, key fees, and (in some cases) auction fees.
It can take up to 45 days for Ally to assess these additional fees and charge them to your account.
Another redemption option includes reinstating your loan if allowed by the terms of your agreement; the possibility of this varies by contract and requires cooperation from the lender.
Also, you can try to buy back your car at auction. To do this, you will need to pay the price set at auction, plus additional charges like repossession fees and storage fees.