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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    El Cerrito, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default How to Get Title When the Co-Owner Won't Transfer the Vehicle

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

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

    So I cosigned for a vehicle for my brother in 2010. He was in the military, stationed in Washington state, and moved back to California in July 2012. In May 2013 he stopped making payments. The car was not registered or insured and was in so much disrepair that it barely ran. When I originally agreed to cosign for the car, I said that if I ever had to take over payments, I would take possession of the car until I was repaid. Of course, I didn't get this in writing. During the period of April 2010-June 2012, there are 3 late payments on my credit report from my brother not making payments on time.

    I took over the payments in May 2013 and ultimately paid off the loan, insured the car, repaired the car so it would pass smog, and registered the car finally. During this time I also took possession of the vehicle during the period of June 2013-April 2014. After investing over $11,500 into this car, I would like to sell it. The car, even after nearly $4000 in repairs is only worth about $6500. I have waited nearly a year for him to make any effort to repay me a dime of what I have put into it, and he hasn't.

    My brother refuses to agree to sell the car and is actually threatening me with court action. I have a buyer for the vehicle for $6300. What is my best action? Even after selling the car, I would still be in the red nearly $6000. I am not asking for any additional money from my brother at this point but I cannot afford to continue taking care of this car that I don't even drive. I just want the liability off my plate and to minimize my loss as much as I can at this point.

    Is my best bet to give by brother half of what the car is selling for and take him to court over the money that I put into the vehicle? If I didn't give him any money for the vehicle (which I know he is legally entitled to), would I have a case if he did in fact take me to court? If I gave him half of what this car is selling for I would be out nearly $9000. Had I not taken over the payments, the car would have been repossessed and my wages garnished since my brother refused to get a job or do anything to take care of his responsibility.

    So much for trying to do a favor, right? Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Repaired and Paid Off Brother's Car- He Refuses to Agree to Sell

    in whose name is the title and if both, is there an "and" or an "or" between the names?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    El Cerrito, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Repaired and Paid Off Brother's Car- He Refuses to Agree to Sell

    It's in both names, no "and" or "or."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Repaired and Paid Off Brother's Car- He Refuses to Agree to Sell

    You have no claim in court or equity for the money you put into the vehicle. It is your car as much as it is his so maintenance on the vehicle is as much your responsibility as it is his.

    I do not see any viable court action on his part as you have as much a right of possession as he.

    So, the only real issue is how to divest yourself of the vehicle so you can put this matter to rest.


    You have a couple options that I see:

    convince your brother to relinquish the title to you

    you relinquish the title to your brother

    you sue him and seek to partition the car which means the court would order it sold and divide the proceeds.

    Personally, I would suggest #2 and be done with the matter. #1 has not been working so far and #3 will cost you more money. Just dump it and be done with it and your brother.

    or just drive the thing until it doesn't run any longer and then relinquish the title to your brother. If you do that, realize that he has as much right to the vehicle as you so if it is missing from your driveway some morning and you see he has it, there isn't much you can do about it other than "steal" it back when you have the chance.

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