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Can I Take My Car Back? Ask a Lawyer

I let my ex-husbands cousin take over my car payments two years ago. My name is still on the vehicle. His daughter stole it this week and hit a car and ran. Can I take the car out of his possession even though he has paid on it for the last two years? We signed a piece of paper stating he would own the car when the lien was paid in full. The car is no where near being paid off. -Sonya D

This sounds like a tricky situation. On the one hand, your name is on the title, and it sounds like you didn’t intend to transfer ownership until the car was paid off. On the other hand, your ex-husband’s cousin has been making payments with the understanding that he would one day own the car.

To nip any complications in the bud, you may find you’re able to work things out with him if you sit down and talk it out.

If you can’t agree on how to proceed, it would be a good idea to talk to a lawyer in your area and give him or her all the facts. Your attorney may want to know things such as whether the paper you signed includes any other terms and if any additional verbal promises were made. A number of issues can impact your rights in this situation.

If you’re really interested in getting the car back, make sure to go through the proper legal process before you take any action. Depending on your agreement, the cousin may have a legal right to possess the car, so make sure you have his approval or legal justification before acting on your own.

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