Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
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You are entirely correct that an oral contract is just as legally binding as long as there is an offer, (i.e. to sell the vehicle) an acceptance (i.e. sure, I will buy it) and then some consideration (i.e. you paid money for it).
So you are considered the "equitable owner" if not legal title owner, if the agreement was that it would stay in the seller's name until it was paid off.
So if the seller tries to repo the vehicle, and you are not in default on your agreement for payments, then you can sue him for breach of contract in court and have a judge order him to continue on with the contract.