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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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VW credit owns my car for 13 more months. I put an ad on

Customer Question

VW credit owns my car for 13 more months. I put an ad on Craig's list in 2007 for someone to take over payments, and then give the car to them for $1. For the last 4 years a buyer from Craig's list has made payments for the insurance, and the car note. Which I kept in my name, to avoid increases. I put take over payments at $265 mo. ($12,000) I was short by $3,000. It should have been $15,000. I have sent numerous emails to this person, with no replies. In the emails I stated that I made a mistake and will pay last year carnotes out. But that he needs to contact me. I'm afraid that with the insurance still in my name, anything can happen. I don't know what to do. Should I report car stolen?
This person has changed their cell number. And hasn't replied to last 5 emails. Also has not made payments for last two months. He has posseson of the car. And I have no idea if he is in Florida where it is registered or back in NYC where he is from.

We have one piece of paper that was notarized, stating a waiver release in the case of an accident. 3 things listed in the terms of this mutual contract.

1 The buyer will assume all responsibility for care and maintenance for the vehicle for the duration of payments.
2. At the end of the term of this agreement, regardless of mileage, I hereby agree to sell the car for $1
3. At the end of the term of this agreement, buyer agrees to purchase for $1

Above these 3 statements, one more important paragraph:

I certify that I have entered into an agreement with buyers, whereby they have agreed to accept financial responsibility in the form of all remaining payments for the retail installment contract associated with the following vehicle....
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. The problem with entering into these sort of contracts regarding a financed car is that you remain liable to the finance company.

Paragraph 3 of the contract does make the purchaser liable for the remaining payments on the vehicle even though you miscalculated the payments.

However, your biggest problem is that you do not know where the person is and they have stopped making payments and have your vehicle. This does not constitute theft and the police are not going to help you out under these circumstances.

Your only relief will be by locating the person and suing him for the additional amount he owes you. If your contract allows you to repossess the vehicle should he fail to pay, you can also pursue that remedy should you be able to locate him.

Do you have any sort of identifying information about the person, such as a drivers license, date of birth, or social security number? If so, then you can use that information through a database such as or similar web services to try and identify where the person is so that you can contact him and eventually sue him.

Nevertheless, in the meantime, the wisest thing you can do is to keep making the payments on the vehicle. I assume that your car note requires that you keep the insurance going on it, so you probably need to keep that up too.

These kind of deals are not very safe, which I'm sure you are aware of now. Let me know if you have other questions.

TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
TexLaw and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks a lot for looking in to this. Only other question or problem I have. Is that if I continue to pay for insurance, which is under my name. What if something bad happens to the driver or another motorist? I understand I should keep the car notes up. But to also make insurance payment?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  CA Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hi. I am not sure where you are at with this but I thought I would throw in my 2 cents.
First, your contract with the leasing company requires that you keep the car insured. But, you have no obligation to the "buyer" to keep the insurance intact. One option to consider is to stop paying the insurance. It will take some time for the leasing company to become aware of this and they will send you a notice to either insure the car or they will do it for you. In some cases it takes months if not years for them to find out. The downside, of course, is that if the car gets wrecked and is not insured, you will be liable under the lease contract for the repairs or replacement of the vehicle, so there is risk and you have to weigh this in your decision.
Also, while the car is not "stolen" in the technical sense, there is no harm in trying to file a report with the police and see what they do. Tell them you sold the car to an individual on payments, the individual has stopped making payments but still has your car, and you need to get the car back. I know of a rental company here that rented a car to an individual and the individual refused to pay the increased charges they were trying to charge her but kept using the car and the rental company filed a stolen vehicle report and the police got the car back. This is similar to your situation so no harm in trying. Plus, if the "buyer" gets contacted by the police he or she is much more likely to get in touch with you!!

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