News in 2010

Florida Law Supports Dealers on Failed Repossessions (UPDATED)

for Auto Dealers on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 by Mike Samaan

A new law offers Florida buy-here pay-here dealers another recovery option when a standard repossession attempt fails. Often, dealers are unable to retrieve vehicles because they cannot locate a delinquent customer or the customer conceals a vehicle in an effort to avoid its repossession.

Now dealers have the support of House Bill 293, which was signed into Florida law in 2009 [FS 320.02(17), 320.03(8) and 319.27]. Under the new law, buy-here pay-here dealers can prevent customers who are behind in their payments from registering or renewing any vehicles until the vehicle with the unpaid account is surrendered.

Placing a registration hold is a two-step process. First, dealers send a Notice to Surrender Motor Vehicle letter to the delinquent customer and retain proof of mailing. Once the Notice to Surrender Motor Vehicle has been mailed, and the dealer has proof of mailing, they mail the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles a Notice of Repossession or Recovery Attempt. The DHSMV will then place a registration renewal hold on all vehicles registered in the delinquent customer ’s name. Once either the vehicle is returned to the dealer or the customer’s debt is satisfied, the DHSMV will remove the holds upon notification from the dealer.

Auto Data Direct (ADD) offers a new electronic letter tool, available through its DirectPost-Office (DPO) product, designed to assist buy-here pay-here dealers with the registration hold process. Dealers can send the initial Notice to Surrender Motor Vehicle via certified mail, for $7.00, or first class with certificate of mailing, for $3.50. With ADD there are no letters to print, no envelopes to address and no trips to the post office. All a dealer has to do is run a Florida motor vehicle inquiry, select the Notice to Surrender Motor Vehicle form and fill in a few data fields. When the form is complete, one click of a button mails the letter to the delinquent customer. Another click prints a pre-populated Notice of Repossession or Recovery Attempt , ready to be stamped and mailed to the DHSMV through the traditional postal mail. All forms and information are archived in a password- protected account.

If you are a buy-here pay-here dealer who already has an ADD account, it’s quick and easy to activate this great letter feature. Simply login to your ADD account and click the yellow Activate Direct-Post Office tab. If your account is not yet set up to pull real-time motor vehicle information, click the New Query tab at the top of your screen and follow the verification wizard to get started. There are no additional sign-up costs to add either feature.

Not yet an ADD customer? Visit us at and click the Sign-Up Corporate Accounts button on the left side of the homepage. Account activation is a one-time $100.00 fee, but use the promo code REPOLTR at sign-up and receive $50.00 off account activation. At the time of asccount set-up, we ask that you start out with $50.00 in your pre-paid account, making the total start-up cost with the REPOLTR promo code $100.00. ADD gives you access to our industry-leading print-on-demand temporary tag system as well as real-time motor vehicle inquiries.


Notice or Discharge of Repossession Recovery Attempt

The DHSMV has recently updated the procedure to add/remove a “customer stop” on a failed repossession attempt. The new procedure requires that a completed copy of form HSMV 82192, Notice to Surrender Motor Vehicle, must be submitted with the completed and signed form HSMV 82191, Notice or Discharge of Repossession Recovery Attempt, when applying to add a repossession recovery attempt stop.