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BOSTON — A new report from the National Consumer Law Center calls for each state to enact laws that would require secured lenders to get court orders before vehicles can be repossessed.

Also, the report apparently calls for requirements that repo agents be better regulated. The NCLC is also asking for enhanced notice requirements, in addition to other steps.

The principal author of the report, John Van Alst, is taking a hard line, saying that dozens of consumers, repo agents and bystanders have been killed, injured or traumatized in self-help repossessions.

More specifically, he said that since Jan. 1, 2007, there have been at least six deaths, dozens of injuries and arrests, along with "uncounted traumas."

The NCLC, which compiles and analyzes existing state laws and repossessions, noted that in four incidents, repo agents took cars with children under the age of eight inside.

"Not a single state guarantees automobile owners a day in court before a repossession. Only a handful of states have even minimal consumer protections such as requiring that repo agents have licenses, bonds or insurance," said Van Alst.