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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
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Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney
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In 2008, my fiance received a loan from a credit union for

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In 2008, my fiance received a loan from a credit union for a new car. Her ex's name is XXXXX XXXXX the loan, as well as the title for the new car. She's made every single payment on the car, and she has been the sole driver of the car since the date of purchase. The car is registered in Wisconsin.

She has long since ended the relationship with her ex (as she is now my fiance), and we are wanting to register the car in South Carolina where we now reside. Her ex refuses to sign over the title and send the title to her until the loan is paid in full. Because we don't have the title, we cannot register the car in South Carolina, which is a problem because it's required by law for us to do that within a certain period of time after moving to the state.

Her ex is threatening legal action if the loan isn't paid off before her current registration expires in August. I'm not sure what legal action he's thinking is possible though, given that she hasn't missed any payments on the loan.

What can we do? Is she legally entitled to have possession of the title?
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to answer your question.

I am sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation.

Unfortunately, if both your fiancee and her ex is on the auto loan, the auto finance company would not allow the change of ownership on the title, until the loan is completely paid off or refinanced in your fiancee name only.

I wish you the best of luck and please let me know if you have any related follow up questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the response. Refinancing in her name was the only option I could think of, so I'm glad you are confirming that.


What about the physical title; the paper that was received from the car dealership or DMV or whatever when the car was purchased? He's holding it hostage and will not let her have it. Because of that, we cannot register the car in South Carolina. Is he legally allowed to do that?


Thank you for your follow up.

Basically, your fiancee and her ex are both joint legal owners of the vehicle since it is financed and titled in both names.

Unfortunately, even if your fiancee would have the possession of the actual title showing both names, the DMV would require the consent of both owners of the vehicle to re-title the vehicle in the new state and also to issue the new registration.

So even if your fiancee can get a hold of the actual paper title, it would not really help the situation, unless the ex is willing to sign all the neccessary and required title and registration documents.

I wish you the best of luck!
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