I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
You have the ability to sue your friend for the $5,000 he promised, because he did not pay. If the title to the vehicle and the registration were put in his name, the vehicle belongs to your friend and I'm sorry to say you have no claim to it. In that scenario, the fact that it's uninsured isn't something you need to be worried about, because it's not your car. But you unfortunately don't have any legal right to reclaim the vehicle unless you have something in writing where your friend agreed to give you a lien until the debt was repaid. Without such a promise, the only recourse is to file a lawsuit.
Claims of less than $10,000 can be brought in Small Claims Court. Each county has their own website with more information for you on the process, plus forms. You're also allowed to ask that your friend be ordered to pay your filing fees. If you'd prefer not to go to court, you can try to see if he'd agree to set up a payment plan, although it would be to your benefit to have him give you a lien on the car in the scenario, to make things easier if he doesn't pay.
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