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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4779
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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I was divorced in July 2011. My ex and I were on good terms.

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I was divorced in July 2011. My ex and I were on good terms. When my car failed, my ex gave me a car as a gift with no strings attached (his words). My ex is indeed a lawyer. I was reluctant to take the car and asked him to write a letter stating that the car was indeed a gift with no strings attached. He did that. The car is in his law firm's name (he is a solo practitioner) and he pays the payments as well as the car insurance. He told me 2 weeks ago that he wants the car back and will no longer make the payments on it (the car is financed) and that he will no longer pay the insurance. I offered to make the insurance payments and he told me that he is going to take the car and get rid of it. I do not have the money to make the car payments. I am afraid that I am going to walk out of work one day and my car will be gone. Do I have any recourse since I do have in writing that the car was a gift with no strings attached? Can he just take the car from me. I am scared.

texlawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

texlawyer :

Is the vehicle financed under his name (or the firm's name)?

Customer: Yes. His name isXXXXX and his company is Orwig Law. The vehicle is financed under Orwig Law
texlawyer :

He is not legally obligated to continue the payments if he does not want to. Legally, he can only gift what he owns, not what he will own. In your case, he was gifting you the payments and use of the vehicle. If he decides to stop making the payments, he can do so, but it will harm his credit.

texlawyer :

So, his gift entitles you to use of the vehicle and ownership when it is paid off, but you can't sue him to force him to continue to make the payments.

texlawyer :

Do you have any questions?

Customer: Can he take the car while I am at work? Can he just pick it up without some notice? He said the car was a gift to me, not a gift of use of the car while he made the payments.
texlawyer :

Legally, he should not be able to do so since he gifted it to you.

Customer: Your answer is not clear to me. I tell you that he gifted the car to me even though the loan and car are in his name and you tell me that he only gifted me the car and the loan and when I ask whether he can just take the car, you tell me that since he gifted it to me, he cannot legally take it. Which is it? I am no clear with your answer
texlawyer :

It is your car, so he cannot take it from you. However, there is nothing requiring him to make the payments (other than concern for his credit). If he decides to stop making payments, the creditor will repo it. Like I said, he can't gift you an entire car, since he doesn't own an entire car. What he's effectively done is gift you use of the vehicle and title once it is paid off.

texlawyer :

Remember, at this point, the creditor really owns the car, not him.

texlawyer :

Do you have any questions?

Customer: I understand. If the creditors take it, that us on him and I get it. I will not give him the car just because he wants it back. My hunch is that he is just mad. He told me that he was not behind in any payments. He just wants the car back rather than me have it. If he stops paying the insurance, how will I know? I don't want to get stopped because of having no insurance.
texlawyer :

If he stops making the insurance payments, you won't know. However, you can contact the insurance company to get notice.

texlawyer :

I'm sure they will give you notice of non-payment, at which point you can start making the payments. You just need to let them know you want notice.

texlawyer :

Does that make sense?

Customer: Yes. Thank you very much.
texlawyer :

Glad to help.

texlawyer :

If I can't do anything else for you, please remember to "rate" my answer. Good luck!

texlawyer :

Can I help you with anything else?

Customer: Ok. Will do
texlawyer :

Have a great evening. Sorry your ex is being so difficult.

texlawyer :

Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Chris T., JD and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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