Check your state's laws concerning car loan redemption. According to the Federal Trade Commission, some states have consumer protection laws that allow individuals to reinstate their car loans if they are able to pay the past due amount plus any fees that the lender incurred by repossessing the vehicle.
Examine your original loan contract for an "acceleration clause." If your car loan contract contains one, paying the past due amount and fees will not be enough to reinstate the car loan. As soon as the loan defaults, the amount due will accelerate. This means that you will not be able to reinstate your car loan without paying off the entire balance of the loan.
Contact your lender and ask for a written statement of the full amount necessary to reinstate the loan.
Pay the past due amount, plus fees, within the necessary time frame. A lender will not hold on to your car forever while waiting for you to redeem the loan. The standard time frame to reinstate your vehicle loan is 15 days.
Ask for a statement in writing that the loan has been reinstated and the date and time that the loan was reinstated. Should your car be accidentally sent to auction, or re-keyed after you reinstate the loan, this document will prevent you from having to pay additional charges to recover the vehicle.