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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 53721
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I financed a motorcycle for someone in 2009 and he has not

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I financed a motorcycle for someone in 2009 and he has not made a payment in 6 months. I have asked for him to return the motorcycle to me on several occassions in which he will not return it nor let me know where it is being kept. I have been making the payments on this motorcycle to not damage my credit but I cannot afford to keep doing this. What can I do to get the motorcycle back if I don't know where he lives? But I do have his name and SS#. Can I report it stolen?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. Whose name is XXXXX XXXXX title? When you made the loan, did the person sign a security agreement giving you a lien on the motorcycle? Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX name on the title. It is being financed so the finance company is the lien holder. His name isn't on anything. I'm not sure if someone signed a security agreement giving me a lien on the motorcycle.

Thanks so much for replying. As the owner, you do have the right to take the motorcycle. And, because you are the owner, you could report it as stolen now that you have withdrawn your consent; but, I will tell you that since you give your consent originally and now want it back because he is not paying, the police are likely to tell you this is a civil matter. Your best bet here is to file suit against him for the default. You can file this suit for his missed payments even if you find the motorcycle and repossess it. Even if you don't have a written agreement, the lack of a written contract can be overcome by the concept of promissory estoppel, detrimental reliance, and unjust enrichment. This situation arises when Person A relied upon the verbal agreement, Person A performed based on such reliance, and because Person B defaulted, such reliance is now to Person A's detriment. Where there is i) partial performance by Person A based upon the mutual promises, ii) Person A relied upon such promises to perform, iii) Person B's failure to perform would be to Person A's detriment, and iv) result in Person B being unjustly enriched, Person A can overcome the legal requirement that the agreement be in writing. Your situation satisfies all these elements. Once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if the losing party doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on the losing party for a debtor examination. That forces the losing party to meet the judgment creditor in court and answer questions under oath about the losing party's assets. After that information is obtained, the judgment creditor has the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property to satisfy the judgment. Finally, if you have his name and SSN, any computer science computer major can find his address for you in 15 minutes at the most!

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What if this person is a con-man that purposely moves around alot and hides from everyone because he owes alot of people? If I can't find where he lives is there another way to still file a claim against him?

Thanks for your response. Yes, you can file the suit. But, the problem is that you have to serve him with the summons notifying him of that service of process. But, I will tell you this, if you give a professional process server his name and SSN, the process server will find the guy and get him served. That's all you need.
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Thank you so much for the positive rating! I appreciate having had the opportunity to serve you! If I can be of assistance to you in the future, just look me up and I will be happy to help!