With repossessions predicted to exceed 1.7 million vehicles this year, and the industry itself loosely regulated, violence during lawful repossessions is also predicted to rise. Only California, Florida and Louisiana license and keep track of "recovery agents," which leaves the rest to operate in a vacuum as far as limits are concerned. Federal law states only that they can't "breach the peace," but it's left to judge and jury to determine when that has happened.
One Alabama sheriff wants the state legislature to limit the hours when repossessions can take place. "There's a time and place for everything," he said, "and 3 am is not it." The problem is getting the legislature to care enough about doing it – "they are just unfamiliar with that world." So that means more people are going to have to get hurt and even killed before something substantial happens.