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I acted as the Buyer on a car loan in order to co-sign on a

car for my ex-girlfriend (due...
I acted as the Buyer on a car loan in order to co-sign on a car for my ex-girlfriend (due to her bad credit). Despite going our separate ways long ago, she would not agree to re-finance to remove me from the loan and title. She has managed to keep up with the payments (for the most part) for about 2 yrs, but is in financial trouble now. She was unable to renew her insurance so the lender has added collateral insurance to the monthly payments, and I have had to cover the payments for the last 3 months to protect my credit. Still, she is not willing to refinance or sell, so are there legal procedures I can take to remove her or myself from the title and loan? I know our rights to the car are equal legally, but can I use her inability to properly insure the vehicle or make payments as reason to forcefully remove one of us from the title/loan. She was also recently evicted from her apartment, so I was wondering if that can be used as proof of reasonable doubt of her ability to make payments going forward.
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
7/19/2013
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am very sorry to hear that you are in this situation. In this case the courts do not really get involved where there is a jointly owned and jointly financed item. What you can arguably consider is of course taking the car back and using it yourself (as co-owners you can always simply drive the car off and use it on your own as it would not be considered theft), or go to court and seek a 'partition' or forced sale of the vehicle on basis that you as property owner can always pursue a sale of something that belongs to you. That may not be a very favorable option--the courts would very likely order the car to be sold at auction via the county sheriff sale, so if it would be sold for less than the loan, you and the other party would end up being responsible for covering the deficiency owed to the lender. You really cannot use her current financial status or inability to plead for relief, and no judge will simply take property from one person and transfer it to another when both rightfully have an interest in the property.

Hope that helps.

Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thank you. Not what I was hoping to hear, but I expected that...I could probably take possession of the car w/o her knowledge, but if she confronts me and refuses me access, is there any course of legal action that I can take at that point, as she would be denying me access to my property?

Thank you for your follow-up, Matthew. You are most welcome and sorry if the news is not quite as you hoped for.

Any 'repossession' must be peaceable. If she confronts you and refuses you to take he car, you would have no choice but to leave the premises. You would then need to go to court and claim that this is somehow your vehicle solely rather than a joint asset, and obtain an order from the judge allowing you to retake what is your sole property. This is not an easy motion to make, which is why it is generally easier to simply drive the car off a public lot or public street (such as from workplace or outside the home) and avoid confrontation. That is permitted as you are part owner.

Good luck.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Gotcha. Thanks!

Matthew,

You are most welcome, glad to help! If you found my information to useful, please do not forget to positively rate my answers to you as otherwise I do not obtain credit for my work. Thank you!

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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
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