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AASmith

money owed on car in my name but not in my possession

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Hi, when I was in a relationship with my boyfriend he needed a car so we put it in my name because of his bad credit. He sold his old car to use as a down payment, but we both made monthly payments towards it throughout the relationship and I was the primary owner of the car. We broke up in December and I let him keep the car because he said he would make the payments. I asked him many times to be taken off of the title but he refused to sign it. I just found out that he has not made the last three payments because a repo man showed up at my door looking for the car I did not have possession of. I told the repo man where he could find the car, and when received at the lot I made the payments and got the car out. He told me numerous times he intentionally tried messing up my credit and I have witnesses to prove that. My question is if I can sue him for the past due amounts he refused to pay when it was in his possession and he refused to take me off the title. Would he be entitled to any of the down payment back since he showed absolutely no intent to make a payment for three months which then led to him losing possession of the car. I fixed the issue and got the car to fix my credit, am I entitled to the money I am out, and will he be entitled to receive any of the down payment back? I am in the process of getting a harassment restraining order, he has threatened me and to damage my vehicles. Any advice would be very helpful! Thanks.

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when I was in a relationship with my boyfriend he needed a car so we put it in my name because of his bad credit. He sold his old car to use as a down payment, but we both made monthly payments towards it throughout the relationship and I was the primary owner of the car.

 

First, please explain exactly what you meant when you wrote that you were "the primary owner of the car" -- particularly in light of your prior statement that you "put it in [your] name."  Was there a "secondary owner"?  Second, did you have any sort of written or verbal agreement with your ex-boyfriend about your arrangement -- particularly what would be done with the title once the loan was paid in full?

 

 

 

We broke up in December

 

December 2015?

 

 

 

I asked him many times to be taken off of the title but he refused to sign it.

 

While I'm not sure why you'd want to be taken off the title -- particularly if you are liable on the loan -- it is highly unlikely that he would need to sign anything for that to happen.

 

 

 

My question is if I can sue him for the past due amounts he refused to pay when it was in his possession and he refused to take me off the title.

 

Anyone can sue anyone for anything.  Whether or not you would have a reasonable chance of winning depends primarily on the terms of your agreement with your ex, if there was one, regarding your arrangement.  Keep in mind that you are either the owner or a co-owner of the car, and apparently a borrower on the loan.  Based on that -- and without any information about any agreement -- it was and is at least as much your responsibility to pay the loan as it was/is your ex's responsibility.

 

 

 

Would he be entitled to any of the down payment back since he showed absolutely no intent to make a payment for three months which then led to him losing possession of the car.

 

Whether or not he's entitled to any money again depends on the terms of any agreement you had with him.  If he's entitled to any payment, that's not going to be negated solely because he failed to make three out of 48-72 monthly payments.

 

 

 

am I entitled to the money I am out, and will he be entitled to receive any of the down payment back?

 

As far as I can tell, this is your car.  If your ex wants it, I assume you'd be willing to sell it to him.  Beyond that, see my answers above.

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There was only a verbal agreement not a written one. When I say I am the primary owner I mean I am the first owner of the car listed on the title and my ex is listed as the secondary. the payments were roughly $222 a month. I was fine with him owning the car as long as he kept it in good standing and made the payments, since it would be affecting my credit. Since he failed to do so when the car was repossessed I did what I had to do to make sure I got the car back to regain my credit. I just received a restraining order on him today. I hope that clarifies some. thanks for the responses!

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There was only a verbal agreement not a written one.

 

Ok...and the terms of the verbal agreement were...???

 

 

 

When I say I am the primary owner I mean I am the first owner of the car listed on the title and my ex is listed as the secondary.

 

Are the words "primary" and "secondary" actually used?  I ask because I couldn't locate an example of a Minnesota certificate of title that was sufficiently legible to serve as a reference.  If your name is simply listed first and his second, that likely has no legal significance whatsoever.  However, since you apparently are joint owners, a more important question is whether it lists your name "or" his name or your name "and" his name.

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My assumption is that you could not prove the terms of any agreement in court, but the terms you described are largely meaningless.  The two of you co-own the car, which means that either of you has the right to possess the car.  If it went to court, whichever of you ended up with the car would likely be obligated to compensate the other to some extent.  As long as you co-own the car, you are at risk of him (legally) taking possession of it, so the best solution might be to sell it.  If the title says "or," rather than "and" (you ignored my inquiry about that), then you may be able to sell without his cooperation.  If it says "and," then you'll need his cooperation.

 

Lesson to anyone else reading this:  jointly owning a car with a boy/girlfriend is a BAD idea -- especially if the other person will be using the car and his/her name isn't on the loan or both names are on the loan.

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