Most every bank has had to repossess a car at one time or another. When you take possession of the car, it’s very likely you are also taking possession of any personal items inside the care as well. According to the CFPB’s Fall 2016 Supervisory Highlights, recent exams have found that personal belongings are not being properly returned to the owners. Personal belongings are often being held until after a storage fee is paid. If the fee is not paid, the items were tossed out, often after 30 – 45 days because the companies had determined that State Law didn’t require them to hold onto the items any longer.
Regardless of what your contract may state and any State Law, the CFPB has found this to be an unfair practice. If State Law allows you to impose a charge and you’re looking to do so, it needs to be disclosed in your agreement. Then, instead of holding the property until the fee is paid, items should be returned and the fee added to the loan balance.