Debts and obligations that are secured by collateral are preferable to unsecured obligations and debts in the eyes of many creditors. Anytime a creditor lends money to a debtor, there is a risk that the debtor will default and fail to make payments on the obligations. By securing a debt with a valuable item as collateral (such as a vehicle), the debtor is providing the creditor with an item the creditor can seize in the event of a default.
Not all debtors are honest, though. When a default occurs, the debtor may try to spirit the collateral away from the creditor, and in so doing, deprive the creditor of the ability to be compensated for its loss. A replevin action, however, can remedy this by permitting the creditor to take possession of the collateral and prevent it from being damaged, destroyed, or hidden by the debtor.
Replevin is discussed at O.R.C. Section 2737.01. An action for replevin begins when the creditor files a petition and motion for a replevin order with the local court. The order, if granted, would permit the creditor to take possession of the collateral when and where it is located. This can be especially valuable if the debtor has put the collateral inside a locked building or residence and refuses to allow the creditor to take possession of the collateral. Typically, the debtor is entitled to notice and a hearing on the creditor’s motion before an order of replevin is granted. If the creditor is able to establish a breach of an agreement for which the collateral was posted, an order for replevin may be issued.
Emergency replevin orders may be available under certain limited circumstances. If there is some risk that the debtor may take the collateral and conceal it to where it cannot be located, or if the debtor may impair the property by damaging it or destroying it, the creditor may be able to obtain a replevin order that permits the creditor to take immediate possession of the collateral pending a later hearing.
In either case, the debtor’s right to notice and a hearing are to be respected by the creditor. Failing to provide notice of the replevin action can be grounds for any orders to be vacated and the collateral returned to the debtor.
Filing a replevin action with the assistance of an Ohio creditor’s rights attorney can give creditors possession of a debtor’s collateral while the debtor’s breach of a lease or sales agreement is figured out. This prevents the creditor from being left empty-handed if a debtor fails to pay on an agreement or contract.
Walker Novack Legal Group, LLC
5013 Pine Creek Drive
Westerville, Ohio 43081
P: (614) 423-8276
F: (614) 767-0695