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Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 20863
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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I bought a car in my name for my girlfriend. We have since ...

Customer Question

I bought a car in my name for my girlfriend. We have since broken up. She wants me to allow her to keep the car and says she will make the payments. She is not able to get a loan to get the car in her name due to poor credit. If we sign a written agreement (and have it notorized) that she is financially responsible for the car, does that protect me in any way? Obviously, my credit (which is very good) would be at risk if she were late on the payments. But she''s willing to conceed in writing that if she misses or is late on any payments, I will take repossession of the car. I''m curious about my legal rights if we sign a written contract even though the car will remain in my name. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.

The set-up for her to give you the payments toward the car, having both your signatures notarized on a written agreement, etc., sounds very good. Technically, if the car and the loan remain in your name, you realize you are the only person responsible for the payments, so if she stops paying you, you might be able to sue her, due to her violating your written agreement, but if you include in your agreement, that she will have to relinquish (physically) the car to you if she misses or is late on any payments, you will receive (repossess) the car, and your responsibility for the payments to the bank or finance company, will not change. Your good credit can only be affected if the payments are not made, or late, as the loan is in your name, so technically it's always going to be up to YOU to make the payments, and in a timely matter, even if you're receiving the money from her.

If you feel she's responsible enough and is working and/or otherwise has the money to make the payments, covering yourself with this written agreement, including having it notarized, is a very good move on your part. If you feel she may not be responsible and not make the payments, causing you aggravation and endangering your credit rating, you might want to re-think this agreement. Selling the car (if possible, without losing too much, through devaluation), might be a good way for you to not worry about adversely affecting your current good credit. However, the ultimate decision is up to you, and I think it's very nice of you to consider allowing her to continue to use the car, if she makes the payments, even though it's in your name!

I wish you much good luck!


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