On Nov. 22, 2019, Judge John M. Campbell of the Washington D.C. Superior Court granted final approval to a $215,000 class action settlement for 54 individuals who had their vehicles repossessed by the Transit Employees Federal Credit Union (“TEFCU”). The class action alleged that TEFCU attempted to charge class members excessive repossession fees and storage fees in connection with vehicle repossessions, in violation of D.C. law. Under the terms of the settlement, for each violation that a class member experienced, he or she will receive a minimum of $1,046. TEFCU also agreed to take no collection action on any deficiency amounts allegedly owed by class members. Class members are also eligible to request a “tradeline deletion” so that adverse credit reporting does not appear on their credit accounts. Migliaccio & Rathod LLP were counsel for the class in the case.
Has Your Vehicle Been Repossessed?
Beyond TEFCU, it is likely that other companies violate D.C. law with their repossession of vehicles. In D.C., lenders must provide clear notice concerning the repossession at various stages:
- At least ten (10) days before any motor vehicle is repossessed, the lender must deliver to the buyer personally, or send to the buyer’s last known address by registered or certified mail, a written notice of the lender’s intention to repossess the vehicle.
- Within five (5) days after a vehicle has been repossessed, another written notice must be sent by registered or certified mail.
- For fifteen (15) days after the post-repossession notice was sent out, the vehicle must be stored in the District or the state and county in which the consumer resides or the state and county where it was located and repossessed. During this period the consumer may “redeem” the vehicle and become entitled to take possession of it.
Failure to meet any of the above requirements constitutes a violation of the Washington D.C. Consumer Protection and Procedures Act that, once proven, entitles the consumer to a minimum of $1,500 or triple his or her actual damages for each unlawful act, whichever is greater.
If you are a D.C. resident who has recently had your vehicle repossessed, please contact us for a free case evaluation by emailing [email protected] or calling 202-470-3520.