Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Georgia

My mother in law gave me $13500 for a trailer. She borrowed the money gave me the money and I have title and bill of sale in my name. She made us move and I want to sell trailer. Can I sell it or can she sue me for her loan?

Asked on 6/04/13, 6:57 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Scott Riddle Law Office of Scott B. Riddle, LLC

Maybe both. If you owe your mother money, pay her back.

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Answered on 6/04/13, 6:58 am

Query: How can your mother make you move if you hold title to the trailer and have the bill of sale?

Did your mother think to protect herself by doing a promissory note and lien on the trailer? What are the documents evidencing that your mother loaned you the funds as opposed to making a gift to you of the funds?

You ask 2 questions.

Can you sell the trailer? Yes, provided that you hold the title free and clear and your mother has no liens of any kind on it.

Can your mother sue you? Sure. She can sue anyone for anything including you. The question is can she recover a judgment from you? The answer is it depends. It depends on whether your mother obtained a promissory note or other document from you reciting that these funds were to be repaid. If there was no note, did you make any kind of a loan payment? For example, did you make one or more payments by check or money order noting that this was repayment of a loan?

If the answer is yes, she can probably recover a judgment against you. If she does, the next question is whether she could collect on it. GA allows a judgment creditor to garnish wages (if you work), levy your bank accounts or seize any assets that you have which are owned free and clear. So if your mother gets a judgment and gets a FiFa issued before the trailer is sold and its just in your name, then the sheriff can seize and sell it.

I agree with Attorney Riddle. While I don't know the facts, this is a crappy way to treat your mother. She loaned you the funds (obviously this was not a gift because she had to borrow the money, probably because you had bad credit or no credit and she could get better rates). She trusted that you would do the right thing and pay the note or pay her back. Now, it looks like you are trying to weasel out of the deal. Obviously, something happened here to make your mother "force" you to move. Regardless of what happened though, your mother loaned you the funds and you have at least a moral duty, if not a legal duty, to repay her past act of kindness to you.

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Answered on 6/04/13, 12:47 pm

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