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  1. #1

    Default Ex Owes Me Money, His Car Title Has My Name on It

    My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: Michigan

    I'll try to make this brief. My live in boyfriend and I broke up in July 2009. He owes me 1200$ (I am about to take him to small claims).

    Now, when we broke up, I left him take my car because he didn't have a vehicle. The car wasn't worth much, but he sold it and bought a new one from his cousin. We both had to go to the Sec. of State for the title transfer, and both of our names are on the title. What legal rights do I have to the car considering he owes me money? I realize that the car is as much mine as it is his with my name on the title. But could I somehow receive full ownership, considering he owes me more money than what the car is worth? I'm sure I would have to go through the courts for all of this, and as I stated, I am going to take him to small claims soon. Would the courts possibly seize the car and give me full ownership? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ex Owes Me Money, His Car Title Has My Name on It

    If you're both on the title as co-owners, then you're co-owners. How, if at all, does the debt relate to the vehicle?

    If you've broken up with this person, you really should resolve the co-ownership issue - you don't want to face owner liability if there's an accident caused by somebody driving the car, particularly if insurance is dropped.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ex Owes Me Money, His Car Title Has My Name on It

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    If you're both on the title as co-owners, then you're co-owners. How, if at all, does the debt relate to the vehicle?

    If you've broken up with this person, you really should resolve the co-ownership issue - you don't want to face owner liability if there's an accident caused by somebody driving the car, particularly if insurance is dropped.
    The debt doesn't relate to the vehicle. I'm wondering if the courts would maybe grant me full ownership considering the amount of money he owes me. I'm just trying to get my money back.

    I never thought about your second point, though. I really doubt he has insurance right now, and don't want to be liable if he does get in a wreck. However, I'm reluctant to take my name off of the title while he owes me so much. So I'm wondering how/if the courts would get involved.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Ex Owes Me Money, His Car Title Has My Name on It

    If you get a judgment against him in small claims court, then you get to try to collect from him. This can be a lot of fun ... if you're a masochist. At this point, his interest in the car is an asset you could either request as (partial) payment, or potentially try to have seized. I don't know how seizure would take place, and I suspect it would be a lot of trouble and possibly cost a good bit on a small judgment. You would probably be better off offering to take his share of the car as part of the payment.

    But until you have a judgment, all you can do is negotiate. You could offer to reduce what you say he owes you if he signs over his interest in the car. Since you are having to take him to court, it sounds like he might not want to make a deal. Unless he's only failing to pay you for lack of money, in which case he might make a deal. You might consider making him a good deal to resolve the liability question that MrKIA points out.

    But which car are you talking about? The one he "sold", or the one he bought from his cousin? Which one did you go in to for the title transfer? I'm confused. But whichever car you are talking about, getting paid takes place after the judgment, unless you can negotiate with him.

    Edward

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ex Owes Me Money, His Car Title Has My Name on It

    Thanks for the responses. I would be willing to take the car as a partial payment, but I doubt he would willingly go for it, which is why I was wondering if the courts could seize it. And yes, the reason for nonpayment is because he lacks the money; however, he's just lazy and refuses to even try to work, which is why I'm not willing to go easy on him. He lost his last job about 5-6 months ago because he wasn't showing up for work, and hasn't tried to find another since.

    And the car I'm talking about is the one he bought from his cousin. I had to go with him to the Sec. of State to do the transfer and get it registered, and my name was left on the title.

    Anyhow, I'm now hopeful that the courts can possibly seize the car for partial payment. It may cost some extra money, but I'm pretty sure that if the judgment is in my favor, the extra fees would be his responsibility as well. Anyhow, thanks much for the input!

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