My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: Illinois
Ok, I'll try to sum this up as best as possible... this may not technically be the correct place to post this, but it kinda falls under a couple categories and I'll move this thread or have it moved if needed. It needs some backstory to totally explain my reasoning... please take a minute to read everything and help me out.
So the problem is that I have a psychotic brother and I made the mistake of mixing business and family. My brother offered to finish the renovations on my home if I gave him my 1978 dump truck valued around 3-5k? Of course, I also paid for materials and I was also helping during the process. Halfway through the job - he took off out of state for a 6 week vacation and left me high and dry. Luckily, I never gave him the title to the dump truck... so the deal is null and void. He didn't finish the job so he doesn't get the dump truck, right? Even after the hassle of him being gone - I still offered him the deal... finish the house and you still get the dump truck. He said he didn't want to finish it, but that he wanted payment for what he DID do. I should also mention that he stayed with me for over 3 months with his kid(s) and his girlfriend while he worked on the house. My power bill went up almost $200 with them here. His kids destroyed brand new carpet with bleach and they very rarely pitched in on groceries or laundry detergent or any other normal necessities. I even paid for his ciggarettes and his girlfriend's ciggarettes and gas money. AND I paid him different amounts of cash on separate occasions totaling $400.... AND, I gave him a 94 Jeep Cherokee that just needed a bumper. Last summer, I gave him a 1982 AMC Spirit so he could restore it and take to shows. Just before he went on his "vacation", I gave him an in-dash GPS/DVD player for his car valued at $800 just for the unit and another $150 for the maps for the GPS. The two cars are the reason for my post.... please bare with me. I'm getting closer to the explanation.
So, after all of that, he's demanding payment for the work he's done. As far as I am concerned - I don't owe him a thing. Over three months of free room, board and more!? Not to mention that he didn't finish the job anyways, but alot of stuff got broken in the process and tools "lost" and things of that nature. His "help" is going to cost me MORE money now because when I hire another contractor to finish the job - they will be required to start from scratch for the wiring... otherwise they cannot be held liable for accidental damages. So basically, if I hire another contractor to finish the electrical and I don't allow this new person to redo all of it... and then my house burns down a month later... this new contractor cannot be held responsible because he didn't do the entire job. Home owner's insurance won't cover that either. My brother wouldn't be held accountable because his name wouldn't be on the finished project. So... I'll have to pay MORE money to have it all redone, plus I'm out the money I already paid my brother plus his living expenses, all the other BS, and just the pure hassle of it all.
If you take your car in to be painted and the shop calls and says,
"Hey we painted half of your car, but we don't feel like doing the rest so pay us for half and take it somewhere else to be finished."
What are you going to do? You're going to laugh and demand they finish it. If they still refuse, you're going to take your car back without paying them a dime and then you will call the better business bureau. You may even be able to sue them if you have a good lawyer. Regardless... no one could every justify in a million years that you owe them a single penney. You took your car in for a full paint job without hassle. Cut and dry. Here's my car, here's the money - do your job. Right!?!?!
So back to the begining... I collect AMC (American Motors) cars and I restore them. I had this very rare 82 AMC Spirit Kammback model that my brother really wanted. I have enough vehicles and projects so I gave it to him... I figured this would keep it close to home and it would get restored faster so we could both take a vehicle to the car shows. The stipulation was that if he were to ever have to leave it or didn't want it - it went back to me. Of course, this was a verbal agreement that probably wouldn't hold in court. I understand that. He has the title... he never transfered it to his name (and he doesn't have the funds to do so), but he has it in his possession... along with that 94 Jeep I mentioned earlier. He promised me that he wouldn't get rid of the cars without allowing me to purchase them first with what he had into them.... at this point, he hasn't put a dime into either of them.
Ok, so now you're caught up with the backstory... my apologies for the Jerry Springer episode.
So, last night he called me ranting and raving and throwing a hissy fit demanding I give him $3000 for the work he did. I told him no and told him that I've already given him more than he deserves. I told him that if he finished the job, then he could have the dump truck as originally planned and if he needed the money... he could sell the dump truck. He refused and again blew up and demanded the $3000. I again declined... then he said that if I didn't give him $3000 then he was going to have those two vehicles scrapped. Of course, this got me very upset and I lost my temper at this point and told him where he could shove it. Then, I calmed down and told him that I'd honor our original deal on the cars and that since he didn't have any money into them - then I'd give him the same amount for them as the junkyard would. Which again is more than fair to still to his benefit since I gave him the cars in the first place... I'd basically be buying my own cars again and reluctant as I was to offer this... I still did it. And you know what? The ungrateful @ss turned the offer down and said he wanted $3000 - no less.
So... ready for my question?
The vehicles are stored at my house inside MY barn in the country on 4 acres of land. He put them there with my help and we were going to restore them this summer together. Well, he has the titles.... but I have the cars and he hasn't transfered the titles yet. The other catch is that he has a truck out here pulled apart in a million pieces that is HIS truck and it is in HIS name. He also has a motorcycle out here that is also his and in his name... I have no problem letting him have the bike and truck back. I have no intentions of harming them or anything like that. I'd even let him to continue to store them here until he found elsewhere for them... but he's trying to screw me out of the car and Jeep and is being vengeful for no reason. I don't want to hold his possessions over his head... but I am very passionate about my AMC's and Jeeps and I cannot allow that rare Spirit to be crushed just because he's throwing a hissy fit. Why should the world lose another classic all-American made car just because he can't fullfill his obligations? Even if I wanted to give in and just pay him the undeserved $3000... I don't have it. I am in debt up to my ears trying to finish renovating my house. Plus, my wife and I are down to one running vehicle because mine is having issues. What a jerk!
Now for my questions...
- Can I legally charge a storage fee for the cars? Maybe I could then work a deal out with him and consider the fees "paid in full" if he allows me to keep the Jeep and Spirit... and then I would in turn allow him to take his Truck and Motorcycle and we both walk away fair and square. (except I still lose out on my house being finished, oh well!)
- If the above doesn't work... the cops cannot legally enter my barn without a search warrant, right? Wouldn't my brother have to pay money to file something to have this done? There is one window on the barn that I can cover up and I can just lock the rest of the doors. Then since he hasn't actually transfered the titles into his name... I could file for lost titles on both of them and they wouldn contact the previous owners and they would obviously say they sold the vehicles to me. Then, I keep them hidden until I get the titles in hand. This seems like a dirty tactic... but I dont see why it wouldn't work. What do you think?
- Ok... this is bad and against my moral judgment... but, can I say that he stole the titles from me? How could he prove it? I know that the Jeep does not have my signature on it... the Spirit has a bill of sale to me included with the title, and I'm not sure I signed it or not. Moraly wrong. I agree. But... fight fire with fire? Lesser of two evils? Please help me with this...
- Lastly... if none of the above work, do you have any other ideas? If not... then I'm screwed and that poor car will be crushed. It is in MY barn on MY private property... should I just cut my losses and walk away? Or should I strip them down and chop up the rest and scrap the rest myself just in spite of him. I'd feel no better than him by doing so.
Please help. I'm just a normal guy like anyone else... my brother is notorious for pulling crap like this. He's always trying to con someone out of something. Wouldn't this be a form of blackmail? Isn't that illegal? Hell, I don't know... just getting desperate and running out of options. The next step is to simply let him do what he wants and then kick his @ss. That won't save the car though... and I don't think you can understand how much those cars mean to me. It's not even so much that I have to have them... it's more the fact that I'd rather anything happen to them rather than let them get crushed. That Spirit is very rare... not worth alot, but still very very rare. They only made less than 250 of them that year. It doesn't have a speck of rust. It's just scratced up with a few dents... interior is trashed and the engine is blown... but I have all the parts to restore it completely. I can't allow if to be destroyed... if he'd never said he was going to have them crushed... I would never have thought twice about letting him take them with him.
He will have them crushed. He is rather heartless. Always has been. I wouldn't be suprised if he sat round waiting for it to get crushed just so he could take pictures to send to me. He's just evil and I keep trying to give him the chance to redeem himself. The family has disowned him more times than I can count... and every time, it was I who talked everyone into giving him a second chance. This 30 year old man, stooped to calling me a "fatty" and he threatened to beat me up. He went so low that he started talking smack about my dead father. He's only been dead a couple years. We share the same mom, but different dads. He is the elder brother.... he's 30 and I'm 26. He can't handle the fact that I grew up faster than he did. Wife, kids, house, dog, land in the country. He can't handle the fact that I won't cower down to him anymore like a scared child. I stand up and I fight back... and I win and he can't handle it. He has 6 children by 5 different women. He's a loser! Sure... there are always two sides to the story - but rest assured... 5m into his side and you will burst into tears from shear laughter. The world is so mean to him. Everything he's done is someone else's fault. The Goverment is out to get him. God hates him. Bla bla bla... it goes on and on. Earlier this year he tried commiting suicide and I found him hanging in my garage with the doors locked. My wife and I saved his life... he was legally dead for minutes as my wife (nurse) recucitated him in the back seat of my Jeep as I sped 110mph to the hospital. (by the way, that cost me money too... he used a 250ft cable used for my band's equipment - it was a stereo speaker cable valued at about $2 a foot. Do the math. The cops seized it for evidence.)
Ok, I guess I went into a bit too much detail. I appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks in advance.
The only info I've found is here... http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...=49&ActID=1815 but I can't find anything that's very specific to my issue. Maybe one of you proffessionals could sift through the legel mumbo jumbo and help me better understand what's going on and give me some ideas on how to proceed. Thanks again in advance!