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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55711
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I have a signed legal document between myself and a private

Customer Question

I have a signed legal document between myself and a private party seller (a previous friend) on a car purchase. Prior to this I was in a lease on another car that I was getting out of, and needed a new one, which was offered by lender / friend at the time.
Our signed agreement stipulates the amount of the loan, terms and maturity date etc. Currently lender is no longer happy with that arrangement, and would like to arbitrarily change it. Which of course I do not want, since it's financially beneficial to me to keep things as agreed. Lender threatened to refund monies paid to date, and take the car against my will. Monthly payments have been on time each month as per our signed agreement, and payments have been made in full and documented. There is no stipulation in our loan agreement that allows for this act, unless borrower is in default of a payment over 30 days. Which I have never been.
Lender refuses to transfer me as registered owner, and themselves as lienholder. Lender claims this is being done to protect themselves from liability until car is paid off. Actually not the case but that's the position. My concern is since car is still showing lender as registered owner, that Lender could take the car even though we have a signed agreement on the car. And possibly sell it before I can do anything about it. What recourse do I have?
Since taking possession of the car over 12 months ago, I have garaged car at my home, Made every payment, I've paid registration & for regularly scheduled maintainance. I followed the agreement to the letter.
The event that has stirred this whole this up recently revolves around insurance.
Breifly I insured car when I took possession, until lender requested it stay on their insurance for liability reasons. Lender suggested I could pay them the monthly primium each month with car payment, and they would add me as insured driver. Which I agreed, but lender never proved to have added me as insured. Most recent insurance card expired March 5, 2016. I requested new insurance card showing me as insured driver. Lender became verbally hostile and demanded I find alternate financing or they would
do as mentioned above, refund money and take car. Lender proceeded to mail an insurance card 10 days later showing lender insured, not borrower. This is after requesting proof of insurance showing me as insured, in an email so proof of insurance existed. Lender does not feel obligated to do so. I've since obtained my own insurance to insure proper coverage for myself, family and investment in my car.
What can be done to insure loan stays as is, lender transfers me as registered owner, and harassment messages telling me to "man up" get my own financing etc stop, or threaten me by taking the car to stop as well. This is nuts !
Thank you for you time!
Marc C.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Hi Marc. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. What you want to do is raise the stakes on the lender/seller. He's simply a seller and a lender and he can have a lien on the car to secure the loan, but title has to transfer to you since you purchased it with his owner financing. Since he seems unwilling to honor his agreement and because he has no legal right to unilaterally change the terms of your agreement, you want to be proactive. Send him a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history and his default, and demand he transfer the title to you within a short specified period of time. Inform him that if he does not timely comply with your demand, you will have no choice but to file a suit for your damages. BUT, be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as fraud and deceptive trade practice causes of action, which will entitle you not only to your damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. Even if you have to file the suit, that's likely all you will need do. In my experience, he will deliver the title without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages and the fraud and/or deceptive trade practice judgments being on the record. Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not entitled to the "title" I'm assuming your referring to pink slip until loan requirements are fulfilled. I'm just requesting that I'm registered owner on vehicle. Did I missunderstand.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Yes, he would have the lien, but he needs to register you as the owner.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Once certified letter is sent I'll be stirring the hornets nest for sure, he has incredibly deep pockets & will throw as much $$ as needed to make life miserable. So before doing that I need to know if he can actually take the car in the meantime since its registered to him? Or can I be proactive in preventing that maneuver.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
I understand. Since title is in his name, he would be able to take it; but it would be a breach of his contract and subject him to liability; he cannot disturb the peace and he cannot break and enter to repossess it though!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Am I to understand there is nothing I can file prior to prevent car from being taken. I have to cross my fingers and just hope that doesn't happen...
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately, if he can show that the title is in his name, he would be able to show evidence he has the authority to do so. All you can do is put him on notice of his legal risk; or, you can file suit directly to get the court to issue an injunction preventing this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How is that injunction initiated, and what are the steps?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What type of attorney would I be looking for to address this matter & file injunction.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did I lose you?
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
I'm so sorry...conference call. Thanks for your patience and I apologize for any inconvenience! You would want a trial attorney. Under my terms of service with JustAnswer, I'm not allowed to make a specific recommendation, but I can give you direction. You would want to either contact the state bar association or your nearest law school for a referral. I prefer the latter because they take great pride in their graduates and will take a more personal interest in making sure your referral is a good one because it will be a reflection of the school. But, this is not a complicated case so you would only need a 1-2 year lawyer rather than a more experienced lawyer with the higher billing rate that comes with that experience.