Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Washington

What is my legal authority when a vehicle is in my name for someone else and they have been paying me monthy for the last 5 years and they now stop?

Background---I bought a 2001 Cadillac for my boyfriend in 2004 and he has been making the monthly payments since this time. I then got a home equity for lower interest and paid the car in full so the title is now in my name. He has now moved out of state and not keeping up with the payments. So I am wondering what are my legal options.

Asked on 8/07/09, 1:50 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Amir John Showrai The Pacific Law Firm, PLLC
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Assuming your boyfriend is now your ex-boyfriend and not going to cooperate with you, you have a couple of choices. First, if you know where the car is located, go there and simply take it back and sell it for what you can and pay off the remainder of the loan, or as much of it as you can with the proceeds. Without his name on the vehicle, he can't stop you. Second, If he hides the car from you, such as in his garage, then go there, call the cops and tell them your boyfriend has your car and refuses to return it to you. Show them the title and they'll make sure he hands you the keys.

Third, if you and your boyfriend have a written contract governing his purchase of the car from you, that may change my opinion, but that depends on what the contract says your rights are in the event he defaults on payments.

Last, you can always hire a repo or towing company to go get the car for you in the event you are afraid or cannot get it yourself. It will cost you something, but it may be worth it. Best of luck.

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Answered on 8/12/09, 3:27 pm

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