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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102505
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My husband and I have a combined savings and checking account

Customer Question

My husband and I have a combined savings and checking account with a Michigan credit union. We are getting divorced. I just found out that my husband took out a 12,000 loan against my car. The credit union did this. The title to the car is in my name only. The loan is in my husbands name only. I did not consent. I didn't sign anything. The paperwork is black and while. My title , his debt against my car. Is this illegal for the credit union to have done? and if so what are the potential legal consequence for the MI credit union?

They are refusing to release my title. I did speak with an attorney and she told me that if they refuse to release the title to me, that I can take them to court by suing the credit union. The papers speak for them selves and the attorney said that I would definitively win the case because of that.
I feel the credit union is trying to intimidate me so that I won't pursue the matter.
My questions are:

So, What legally can happen to the credit union?

If I get my title , is my husband still responsible to pay off the rest of the loan - even though the loan was illegal to begin with ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 4 years ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation.

Is this illegal for the credit union to have done?

When you state "illegal," that can mean one of two things - criminally illegal, or civilly wrong.

This is not criminally illegal in that the credit union made a mistake here. However, they did not "steal" your vehicle, nor is this (quite) criminal fraud. Ergo, it is unlikely that someone at the credit union would be criminally prosecuted.

However, this is civilly wrong, meaning that you may indeed sue the credit union (or threaten to do so).

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state.

Here, this may be a suit for negligence. The elements of an action for negligence are (i) duty, (ii) general standard of care, (iii) specific standard of care, (iv) cause in fact, (v) legal or proximate cause, and (vi) damage. Moning v. Alfono, 254 NW 2d 759 - Mich: Supreme Court 1977. The credit union had a duty to properly check the title and did not, and have injured you as a result. You may also seek punitive damages for acts that humiliates, outrages and indignifies the recipient. Jackson Printing Co. , Inc. v. Mitan, 425 N. W. 2d 791 (Mich. 1988).

Along with suing, you may file a complaint with the (1) Attorney General of Michigan (here) and (2) Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (here) and the two state agencies may look into the matter and may take actions themselves to punish the credit union.

If I get my title , is my husband still responsible to pay off the rest of the loan - even though the loan was illegal to begin with ?

Yes, he likely would be if the credit union can illustrate that he defrauded them somehow.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That answer doesn't help me as it is not specific enough for my purposes - this information is too general. I am not satisfied and I don't want another answer and I don't want to ask another question. I expect that I will not be charged the $50 as I am not satisfied.