If you fall behind on the loan payments for your car, the lender may send a repossession company to get the vehicle back. Some things to know:
•Don't expect a break. If your loan contract does not stipulate a grace period, the car can be repossessed without warning after you miss a payment. "What we are finding recently is that banks are much more aggressive about picking up the car on the first default," said Nancy Barron, a San Francisco consumer-rights attorney.
•Even if you're current on your payments, a car can be repossessed for failing to meet other terms of your loan contract, such as not buying insurance for the vehicle.
•Repossession agents must be registered with the state's Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. If you're there when the repo guy/gal shows up, ask to see his/her BSIS identification card, and write down the license or registration number. You can verify the license at http://www.bsis.ca.gov or by calling (800) 952-5210.