Self Help repossession alternative: “Replevin” in Louisiana

Self Help repossession alternative

Louisiana offers court ordered repossession options in some circumstances

In situations where self-help repossession is not feasible or available, Louisiana law provides alternative legal remedies. These remedies are available for vehicles or other movable equipment. If the vehicle or equipment is not leased, executory process is available. If the vehicle or equipment is leased, the Louisiana Lease of Movables Act is available. Other states refer to these options as replevins.

When Self-Help Repossession is Not Viable

There are instances where self-help repossession may not be possible or practical. This could be due to various reasons, such as:

  1. Breach of Peace Concerns: If there is a risk of breaching the peace during the repossession process, creditors may opt for executory process to ensure a more orderly and legally compliant resolution.
  2. Disputed Ownership: If there is a dispute regarding the ownership of the collateral or conflicting security interests, creditors may choose executory process to have the court resolve the matter and determine the rightful owner.
  3. Complex Legal Circumstances: In cases involving complex legal issues, creditors may prefer to seek the guidance of a court and utilize the formal legal process of executory process to navigate the complexities effectively.

Initiating executory process for non-leased vehicles or equipment

To initiate executory process in Louisiana, creditors must file a petition with the appropriate court. The petition should include relevant information, such as:

  • Identification of Parties: The petition should clearly identify the creditor, borrower, and any other relevant parties involved in the repossession.
  • Description of Collateral: A detailed description of the collateral, including its location, condition, and any unique identifying information, should be provided.
  • Supporting Documentation: It is essential to include supporting documentation, such as the loan agreement, to demonstrate the creditor’s legal right to seek repossession.
  • Grounds for Repossession: The petition will outline the grounds for repossession, including the borrower’s default on payment obligations or any other contractual breaches.

Upon filing the petition, the court will review the case and, if satisfied, issue an order of seizure. This order authorizes the sheriff or another authorized official to seize the collateral and prepare it for sale. The seized collateral will then be sold at a public auction or through another court-approved method, with the proceeds applied to the outstanding debt.

Options for leased vehicles or movable equipment

The Louisiana Lease of Movables Act (La. Stat. Ann. § 9:3301 et seq.) provides important provisions for the repossession of leased vehicles or equipment in the state of Louisiana when self-help is not available. This act outlines remedies and procedures that can be followed in cases of default under the terms of lease agreements involving movable property located within Louisiana. By understanding the Act, lessors can navigate the repossession process more effectively. The intricacies of this act are best understood by a seasoned creditors’ rights attorney. Seek legal counsel before proceeding.


When self-help repossession is not available or feasible, creditors can turn to the court system for assistance. Executory process offers a legally sanctioned alternative, providing a clear and orderly resolution to repossession disputes while ensuring the protection of the rights and interests of both creditors and borrowers. The Louisiana Lease of Movables Act provides similar remedies. Retain an attorney focused on Creditors’ Rights to help.

Attorneys focused on Creditors’ Rights in Bankruptcy at Hudson, Potts & Bernstein LLP:

Jason R. Smith