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A creditor's taking of property that has been pledged as collateral for a loan. Vehicles are the type of property most often repossessed: Lenders will repossess cars when the owner has missed loan or lease payments and has not attempted to work with the lender to resolve the problem. The loan contract or lease and state law dictate what a repossessor can and cannot do, but usually a repossessor cannot use force to take a car. A repossession of property will appear on the car owner's credit report for seven years, and he or she will owe the costs of repossession and attorney's fees, as well as the difference between what the lender can sell the car for and what was owed on the loan or lease.