Repossession Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Repossession, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Repossession?

(n) Re possession is taking back the possession of a property or articles transferred to another person, by canceling the contract and agreement by which such transfer was made. For example when the buyer failed to pay the price in time seller took back the goods sold

History and Meaning of Repossession

Repossession is the act of reclaiming possession of a property or item that was previously transferred to another person under a contract or agreement. The term is commonly used in the context of loans or hire purchase agreements, where the lender or finance company reclaims the property or item when the borrower has failed to meet their repayment obligations. The legal right to repossess the property or item is usually included in the contract or agreement signed by both parties.

Repossession has been a common practice throughout history, with examples dating back to ancient civilizations such as Greece and Rome. In modern times, repossession has become a widely accepted practice in the lending industry, providing lenders with a legal means of recovering their losses when borrowers default on their loans.

Examples of Repossession

  1. A car finance company repossesses a car from a borrower who has missed several payments.

  2. A bank forecloses on a house after its owner has defaulted on their mortgage payments.

  3. A pawnbroker seizes an item of jewellery from a customer who has failed to repay a loan.

  4. A landlord reclaims possession of a rented property from a tenant who has breached the tenancy agreement.

  5. A leasing company takes back a leased asset from a customer who has failed to make the agreed lease payments.

Legal Terms Similar to Repossession

  1. Foreclosure - the legal process by which a lender reclaims a mortgaged property from a borrower who has defaulted on their payments.

  2. Seizure - the act of taking possession of a property or asset, usually by law enforcement officials as part of a legal investigation.

  3. Distraint - the legal right of a landlord to seize and sell a tenant’s goods to recover unpaid rent.