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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34788
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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My brother took a car title loan on my dead fathers car and

Customer Question

My brother took a car title loan on my dead fathers car and the car is still under my fathers name. They both have the same name. My brother has not paid the loan and now they are trying to repo it . Do I have any legal grounds to get the car and not pay for that loan?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will do what I can to help...Can you tell me what state this is in?.Has anyone filed a probate case to settle father's estate and been appointed executor or Administrator of his estate?.Did father pass with a will?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am in Texas and my father died 2 years ago . my sister was over the estate . She let my brother drive the car but he was suppose to look into putting it in his name he has no job and he did not do this . She willing to let us take the car but I don't want to pay the title loan . It is not legally in his name . He was able to take the loan out because they have the same name and he had the title.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was no will
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, if the car is still in father's name, then apparently sister didn't do anything to settle father's estate. Part of settling an estate is transferring all assets out of the deceased's name once all debts have been paid..So at this point, father's estate still owns the car and only the Administrator of his estate can legally transfer it to someone. What brother did was considered fraud because he fraudulently obtained a loan by representing that he owned the car. He had no legal authority to borrow money on a car he didn't own. So the Administrator could notify the lender that brother did this and they could pursue charges against him for fraud if they wanted to do so. But legally they couldn't repossess the car because no one with authority to do so pledged it as security for the loan..But if there was no will, then the car belongs equally to all the children once a probate case is actually filed to settle father's estate.. Unless the other siblings agree to transfer it to you, then each of you owns an equal share of it...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If the children agree to transfer it to me, and sign off on it .(not sure what is need to be signed off on) How can we get the title back from the loan co? or can we just go to department of motor vehicles and tell them our situation and they would give us the documents that need to be signed?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
It is a LOT more complicated than that. The loan company isn't just going to give you back the title and the DMV could only issue a duplicate title to the registered legal owner (father's estate) if it was lost..But I might not be making myself clear here... right now the estate owns the car, not the children as heirs. So until someone files a probate case to settle the estate, nothing can be done with the car. When someone dies, anything in their name is ***** ***** by their estate and it has to go through probate to legally go to the heirs. Brother shouldn't even be driving the vehicle because no one has the authority to give him that permission if no Administrator has filed a probate petition to settle father's estate. If sister did this, then she would have to have either sold the car and divided the money or transferred the car to all the children on the title. So the fact that it is still in father's name tells me that she didn't so anything to settle his estate..But assuming that someone decides to file a probate case to actually settle father's estate and transfer the car to the children, that person would have to pursue a complaint for fraud against brother for illegally getting a loan on a vehicle that he doesn't own in order to be able to force the loan company to return the title. That means likely felony charges against brother for fraud and identity theft..So unless someone is willing to go through filing a probate case to settle the estate and then filing a criminal complaint against brother on behalf of the estate, then the car will stay in the estate until repoed and then the loan company might find out that brother isn't father and file their own charges...thanksBarrister