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Joseph Scott
Joseph Scott, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 171
Experience:  I have practiced law for 10 years. I have handled hundreds of cases if various areas of the law.
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I purchased a 1998 F-150 pickup from a friend seven years ago

Customer Question

I purchased a 1998 F-150 pickup from a friend seven years ago for $3000 dollars. At that time, my friend and his wife were married. Within the 1st month of the purchase, they paid the truck off at their credit union. However, because of some personal loans they had, the credit union would not release the title. During these past 7 years they were divorced. The truck is in my friend's wife name, I have been getting the tag for the truck every year for the past 7 years by meeting her at the DMV. I have always had full coverage insurance on the vehicle, but the tag registration comes to her at her house. This year, she says this is the last year, I will do this for you, because no longer wants to continue to carry on her husband's business. How do I get or can I get any money back from these people? She is the only one now, I have contact with. HELP!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Joseph Scott replied 2 years ago.

Joseph Scott :

First off, I am sorry for your situation.

Joseph Scott :

Do you have a contract or bill of sale or anything from your friend who you bought the truck from?

Joseph Scott :

How much have did you pay for the truck? You have several remedies that you can try to get your truck put into your name.

Customer:

Yes we have a bill of sale from the sale that happen seven years ago. It was $3000.00.

Joseph Scott :

Okay great, do you have proof of the payments?

Customer:

yes

Joseph Scott :

Have you tried speaking with the bank or credit union and explaining to them that you have made all the payments?

Customer:

Yes, we spoke to the credit union when the loan was paid off. They cross collaterized the loan to the truck and would not release the title.

Joseph Scott :

How much is the truck worth?

Customer:

It is worth $3300.00

Joseph Scott :

Do you know how much they owe on the current debt? Is there anything else your friend would collaterize instead of the truck so you can get it free and clear?

Customer:

No, they owe 14,000.00 on the loan and it is in divorce decree for him to pay credit union. I can't find him. How do I get the title or do i sue her?

Joseph Scott :

Just because it's in the divorce decree doesn't mean that she is not still on the hook. I would tell her that you want the title free and clear, if not, then you will have to bring legal action. But that she needs to continue to cooperate or you will include her as well since she was on title when it happened.

Joseph Scott :

I will go back to the bank and explain the situation. Let them know that you were a innocent third party who purchased the truck, has paid the insurance, repairs, etc. That you have complied with all that you had to do and you need the title released. That the note is paid in full, the bank has received all of their money for the car, and they are not hurt by releasing it since it's not worth anything anyways (that's what I would tell them).

Customer:

Can I sue her, for my money back, being that I have used the vehicle for 7 years? How do I go about bringing their account up, when the account is not in my name. The credit union will not give me information on someone else's account. I do not believe she is willing to go with me, because the debt is in the divorce decree for him to pay and I think she is done with it.

Joseph Scott :

Well, she may be done with it on the divorce decree, but that doesn't mean she isn't still responsible. I would let her know that if she doesn't help you, then you may have to bring suit. I would go after her as well since she was a party to the purchase. Also, even if you used it, they should still pay you back because the truck is not yours. In essence, they have committed fraud against you because you paid for a truck you cannot own. Even though you used it, it is still not in your name. The statute of limitations may have run, but it's still a possibility.

Customer:

What kind of law suit should I bring against her? Criminal or small claims court for the $3000.00.?

Joseph Scott :

It would be a small claims court action. I think it's been too long for anything criminal, plus you knew it and you kept making the payments. But, I think you would have a small claims action for sure.

Customer:

I didn't make any payments- the truck was paid in full at delivery 7 years ago

Joseph Scott :

Did they give you a receipt?

Customer:

The bill of sale is the receipt

Joseph Scott :

Then you have proof that you paid for it and it is a viable case. I just hope that the statute of limitations hasn't passed because 7 years is a long time.

Customer:

In what county would I file a small claims case, the county she lives in or the county where the sale took place?

Joseph Scott :

It just depends, it's different state to state. I would try the county she lives in, that 's always a good place to start.

Customer:

Thanks for all your help

Joseph Scott, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 171
Experience: I have practiced law for 10 years. I have handled hundreds of cases if various areas of the law.
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