In Thompson-Young v. Wells Fargo Dealer Services, Inc., 2014 IL App (1st) 132479-U, 2014 WL 3726900 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 2014), the Illinois Court of Appeal found no breach of the peace by the repossession agent for the automobile finance company.
This is primarily because, again, even accepting as true all well-pled facts and reasonable inferences from the amended complaint, Wells Fargo’s conduct did not amount to a breach of the peace. In their amended complaint, the Youngs admitted that they defaulted on their contract for the car and that Wells Fargo had the right to repossess it. What happened next constitutes the case-specific facts of this matter. As the complaint states, two repossession agents came to the Youngs’ apartment building at 4 a.m.; one remained outside the building ringing their buzzer and the other went inside and “banged loudly” on their apartment door for an “extended” period of time; they “yelled loudly,” identified themselves as Wells Fargo’s agents there to repossess the car; they asked to speak to the Youngs; and, when the Youngs remained silent, the agents put a club on the car, left, and returned later and repossessed the car. ¶ This situation is clearly more akin to what occurred in Koontz. Again, the Youngs knew they defaulted on their payments and that Wells Fargo had the right to repossess the car. The agents came to the apartment building and immediately identified themselves, thereby giving notice to the Youngs regarding who they were, why there were there, and what was happening to their car. Significantly, the Youngs never alleged in their amended complaint that there were any threats exchanged or that any confrontation took place. Instead, they stated, to the contrary, that they remained silent, stayed in their bedroom and never spoke to or addressed the agents in any way. Also, they never alleged that the agents entered their apartment or apartment building illegally or took the car by actually breaking or destroying any barriers designed to exclude trespassers. First, it is wholly undisputed that the agents never entered into the Youngs’ apartment. Second, while the Youngs state that their apartment building has a “locked security door at its entrance” and while they allege that “they believed the agents had broken through the front security door in order to get to their front door,” it is not a proper inference, as they would have us conclude from this, that the agents must have broken a lock or entered the building unlawfully. In fact, the Youngs make clear in their complaint that this is what they believed occurred, but they do not alleged that it actually occurred. In addition, while the Youngs insist in their brief on appeal that the agents had “set the stage for” a violent confrontation by waking their neighbors, “any one of [whom] could easily have taken action to get [them] to leave; particularly given the hour and the neighborhood, with its high crime rate,” they, again, fail to allege any such facts in their amended com-plaint. Rather, from the allegations contained therein, any possibility of violence was negligible. They never pled that any sort of threat, confrontation or even any contact ever occurred between anyone here—them, the agents or the neighbors they allegedly woke. To the contrary, from our review of the Youngs’ amended complaint, the allegations contained therein simply do not, and can never, without more, amount to a breach of the peace. There were no stated facts pointing to an entry by Wells Fargo’s agents through a barricade or the like, nor that there was any incitement to public turbulence or a loss of public order or tranquility, nor that there was any real probability of violence at the time of or immediately prior to the repossession. No one enjoys being awakened from sleep in the early morning hours to be informed, perhaps in an indelicate manner, that the dues they owed are finally being collected. However, such is the life of a defaulted debtor and, without more than such unpleasantness as alleged here, we hold that the trial court properly dismissed the UCC count of the Youngs’ amended complaint, as no breach of the peace could have occurred under these circumstances.