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Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 28518
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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I purchased a car in my name for my ex girlfriend and she was

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I purchased a car in my name for my ex girlfriend and she was suppose to make the payments now she refuses to make payments are return the car. The vehicle is registered solely in my name in VA and the insurance is in my name as well. However, she lives in NJ and the car is being housed in NJ. Although I have a key she parks in the garage and doesn't drive it every day. Can I report it as unauthorized usage (stolen) to the police and they get involved?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide excellent service.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma.   I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

Unfortunately, because you voluntarily gave her the car, it will not be treated as a criminal matter by law enforcement. It will need to handled civilly.

However, be aware that you have every right to take possession of the vehicle if you can do so in a way that will not breach the peace.

Otherwise, you would need to bring a replevin action in NJ. In a replevin action you ask the court to order someone holding possession of your property to return it to you. The court can also award money damages, as well, if appropriate.

I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive.  Also, please remember that this is not necessarily a moral judgement on my part.   As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.

It is my privilege to assist you. Let me know if you need further information.  I hope I have helped you beyond your expectations in the service I have provided to you.  I am here for you.
Also, be sure to verify this information with a local attorney who is familiar with your local laws and procedures.

Please remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested.

If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will happily answer your follow-up questions and assist you until I am able to explain the answer to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to your situation, so please do not penalize me for having to deliver bad news.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Isnt there state and local laws that require a vehicle housed in the state to be registered in the state? Again I don't reside in the state of NJ nor is the vehicle registered in the state of NJ so isn't there some form of criminal proceedings that I could report to the local/state authorities since the vehicle is being housed in their state but not registered?

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX following up with me.

Unfortunately, registration requirements are petty offenses which are not initiated by a complaining witness.

This is just not a criminal matter. Your remedy is in the civil courts or by locating the car parked in public and taking possession. If you go that route make sure you have a copy of the title with you in case your ex reports the car stolen and the police pull you over.

Thank you.

Loren and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your positive rating of my service to you. Let me know if you need more help or have future questions. I will be here for you. Just ask for me by name at the start of your question - "Loren" or use the following link (which you can bookmark in your browser):

Best wishes and good luck to you.

If it is not too much trouble, Carl, when you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JA/Pearl in a day or two, please consider rating me highly (9 or 10). It affects my ability to continue to assist you and other customers on JA/Pearl and would be most appreciated.  

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