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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18501
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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I bought a car with my boyfriend in February, 2013. He has

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I bought a car with my boyfriend in February, 2013. He has bad credit so I got a loan for the car, and added him on the loan. I am the Primary owner on the loan. We are both on the Title and registration. The insurance is in my name and he is added as a driver. We broke up and he has the car. I or my parents have made most of the payments till now. He has personally made 1 or 2. I have made all the insurance payments, it comes directly out of my banking account when my insurance comes out. The deal was for me to help him buy a car he would keep a job. He has a history of not having a job or paying his bills. I am worried he will ruin my credit by not making payments on time or keeping insurance. That is the only reason I had the insurance come out of my account in the first place, incase he had an accident I didn't get sued. My question is how much rights do each of us have to the car? I feel like since I am primary owner, I'm on loan first, I'm on insurance first, I'm on title first, I shoulkd have a right to go get the car from him. Can I legally take thge car from him? I know I cant sell it unless he signs off saying I can and vice versa for him. But can I just go and take the car or can he stop me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the information and your questions. Can you please tell me exactly how the ownership reads on the title? In other words, is it AND or OR or AND/OR each of your names?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I don't have the title with me at the moment, but from the dealer the paperwork to transfer the title says first re-assignment by registered dealer: purchaser : printed by dealer, Crystal Neighbors/XXXXX XXXXX, then where the purchaser is to sign, it says signature of purchaser: Crystal Neighbors. I am the only one who signed.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again Crystal and thank you for your reply. However, the names as they actually appear on the title (other than the promissory note holder) is what determines who has the right of possession of the vehicle. Possession does depend on who is paying for the vehicle or insurance, or who is first on the list, but only on the title itself.

If you were the only person on the title, then yes, of course you could go get the vehicle as long as you don't breach the peace. In other words, you need to take it without violence. However, if you and this other person are both on the actual title to the vehicle, then you both have 100% right to possession. So, you could still take the vehicle if your name and his are on the title, however, he could take it back. In other words, the police could not help you take the vehicle since he would have the same legal title to it as you do.

If you have broken up though and you want to get out from underneath this joint debt and liability, then you can tell him that he needs to either turn the car over to you, get it refinanced in his name only, or that you will sell the vehicle. If the title is title XXX or YYY, then either of you could sell it without the permission of the other. On the other hand, if it says XXX and YYY, you need each other's permission and signature to sell OR a court order. So, you may ultimately have to go to court and get the court to order that the vehicle be sold, or you will have to work something out with him.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I just spoke with the Indiana Motor Vehicles Bureau & they told me Indiana doesn't recognize And or Or on Titles, it just says Primary owner Yes Crystal Neighbors No XXXXX XXXXX. They also said in order to sell it I would have to have him sign off. So pretty much, I can't win unless he can get a consigner & take me off the loan & then I sign off on the title as selling it to him solely. Correct?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again Crystal. Unless you can get him to agree to get the car refinanced in his name (and whoever else he can get to cosign if he needs to) then you would have to go court and try to get the court to order a sale or that he sign it over to you. But, you still have the right to possession of the vehicle as I mentioned before. That doesn't mean you can sell it, but if you want to take it back, you can.
Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18501
Experience: Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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