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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13055
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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Where do I start. Two years ago I was asked by my Mother if

Resolved Question:

Where do I start. Two years ago I was asked by my Mother if I wanted a 1990 Nissan Stanza that belonged to my brother because she had given him his Dad's car and he was okay with me having his old car. Recently, he called the police and said that I had stolen his car even though he gave his consent for me to have it. In the interim, the Title went missing so he applied for a duplicate replacement Title so we could get this show on the road as he was going to gift me the car. Where do I stand, legally, in this mess since I have spent over two thousand dollars maintaining this car as if it were my own. Any suggestions and do I have the right to sue him and do I have he right to file a counter claim against him for fraud.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Alex Esquire :

Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you.

Alex Esquire :

Are you online with me?

Customer:

Yes

Customer:

Did you read my question

Alex Esquire :

Yes I did

Alex Esquire :

Welcome to JustAnswer.com

Alex Esquire :

I am sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation.

Customer:

Try living in it

Alex Esquire :

Can you please tell me if your brother has taken this vehicle from you yet?

Alex Esquire :

Have you been sued by your brother or questioned by the police about the situation?

Customer:

No, he hasn't. He called the Police and filed a report that I had stolen the car from him and its been in my possession for two years now and he's been driving around in a 2005 Camry and I have reason to believe that my mother has something to do with this. I got a letter from her attorney saying that the Police were going to issue a warrant for my arrest if I didn't return the car and I told my mom that I wanted to be reimbursed for all my expenses related to the car and he's disabilty and I'm afraid that if I go to the Police Station that I might or could be arrested.

Alex Esquire :

I understand

Alex Esquire :

Well, what evidence or witnesses do you have that can prove that your brother had voluntarily given you possession of this car?

Alex Esquire :

Is the car registered and titled to your brother?

Alex Esquire :

What about insurance?

Customer:

Because originally the car was going to be gifted to me and its only come to my attention that the Title was lost.

Customer:

The car is registered to my brother but I do not know if it is also titled to him as he's on SSDI. My mother set this up back in 2011 and yes I just got new insurance for this car and we're both listed. I've been paying for the insurance and I am listed as the primary driver on another policy that my mom pays for because she said it was expiring

Alex Esquire :

Do you have anything in writing that shows that the vehicle was intended to be given to you as a gift?

Alex Esquire :

Did you have an exclusive use of this vehicle in the last 2 years and were the only person who drove it?

Customer:

No, I don't. It was a verbal agreement which is legally binding here in MAss

Alex Esquire :

Unfortunately, verbal agreement when it comes to a transfer of ownership of a vehicle is not legally binding.

Customer:

Yes, I had exclusive use of this car for the past two years. I live on the South Shore and I was the only person who drove and when it broke down I paid for the repairs

Alex Esquire :

Not under Massachusetts law. Due to statute of frauds, such transfer does have to be in writing.

Alex Esquire :

I understand.

Alex Esquire :

I am afraid I do not have good news for you.

Customer:

Of course not. I'm screwed huh

Alex Esquire :

Basically, if the vehicle is legally owned by your brother, you would have to return it to him upon a written demand.

Customer:

Its still up in the air who actually owns the car. My insurance agent said that it looks like it belongs to my dad who passed away

Alex Esquire :

While you could sue him for any costs associated with maintenance of this used vehicle, it would be difficult to support such lawsuit, since your brother could counter-claim that since you had an exclusive use of the vehicle and were the only one who got the benefit of having this vehicle, that it would also be your responsibility to maintain and repair this vehicle during the time that you had it in your exclusive possession.

Alex Esquire :

I understand.

Alex Esquire :

Please do not be angry with me, as I do have professional obligation to provide you with correct answer, even if the answer is not favorable to you.

Customer:

So, I should just disown my family

Alex Esquire :

Another issue here, is that it appears that your mother who initiated this transfer of the car, now turned against you? Am I correct?

Customer:

Yes, that's correct. So, where does that put me? Sue my mother for fraudulent intent

Alex Esquire :

It is a difficult situation.

Alex Esquire :

It would be your word against your mother's and brother's word

Alex Esquire :

So basically, the judge will look at the current legal ownership of this vehicle and generally would make a ruling based on that.

Alex Esquire :

Also, I would imagine that the market value of this 1990 vehicle is relatively low?

Customer:

Not sure of the Market Value. Sh'e just mad cuz I woudn't pay the Excise tax and I said that until there's a title I had no obligation to so its looking like my family has managed tp perpetrate fraud on me and get away with it.

Alex Esquire :

I completely understand how frustrating this is for you.

Alex Esquire :

Do you think there is a way for you to work this out with your mother and your brother?

Customer:

He was trying to blackmail me into giving him 500 dollars for the car and my mom pays for all of his expenses. When my dad passed away she was on the phone to me ten hours a week for three years and she wanted to give me this car because it would give me something to do and now I feel like I just got it tucked up my butt for helping my mom deal with things she has no experience with and this is my reward. During all of this I was going to school full time and didn't have a lot of free time. She also saw fit to give me grief about work I had offered to do before the car came into play and dad died and then she had someone else do the work so I'm thinking I'll get a few more opinions and then I'll disown my family.

Alex Esquire :

I completely understand how frustrating it is to be let down by your close family members, unfortunately this can happen to the best of us.

Customer:

So, I should just move on or something

Alex Esquire :

I would suggest that it would not make sense to deal with the police and potential car theft charges, but rather would make sense to return the car and look into potential small claims lawsuit against your brother, which as I said, might be an uphill battle.

Alex Esquire :

I am very sorry about what happened to you, but what goes around comes around and if your mother and brother are being unfair to you, it will eventually catch up to them, one way or the other.

Customer:

Actually it would be against my mother because she initiated all of this and I was told that since my other brother didn't want the car that I could have it and as we have progressed over the last several years numerous things seem to have gotten in the way and skewed the original intent.

Customer:

Which was to help me out because I was on the phone to her for over fifteen hundred hours and if I could send her a bill I would but I have to agree that in time this will come back to bite them in the ass like the boy that cried wolf and when they really need me I just won't be there.

Customer:

How do I get a print out of this conversation for reference?

Alex Esquire :

Do you know how to copy and paste?

Customer:

Yes I do

Alex Esquire :

You can copy and paste our chat into Word or your Notepad.

Alex Esquire :

Do you have any related follow up questions for me?

Customer:

I don't have a note pad I have a flash drive that I can use will that work?

Alex Esquire :

I can also ask out customer service to email a copy of this chat to you, once you rate my answer and the question is closed.

Alex Esquire :

would that work?

Customer:

Lets do that instead and send it to me as a PDF

Customer:

If you would please

Alex Esquire :

I will ask the customer service to email the chat to you. Not a problem!

Alex Esquire :

I wish you the best of luck. Please click on the "excellent service" rating, so I can receive credit for my answer. Bonus and positive feedback is always appreciated, but is not required.

Customer:

You were going to get an Excellent Service Rating any way's Alex

Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13055
Experience: Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
Alex J. Esq. and 5 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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