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Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Auto repossession

Customer Question

Auto repossession
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.

Not sure I understand your specific question. Do you have a question regarding this?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I recently bought a car. My girlfriend needed to buy a vehicle, but was having credit issue. I purchased the car in full. with the verbal agreement that she was to make payments to me (at 13% interest) just as if I were a bank. We did talk and even text regarding the agreement, and that a formal document WOULD be "inked". She has now, however been a complete shrew and simply avoids the subject altogether. (relationship is also in the toilet) The vehicle is titled in her name, but I am listed as the lien holder. How do I go about repossessing the vehicle?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 10 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using the forum. My name is***** am another expert on the forum, your prior expert opted out (this sometimes happens).

I am sorry to read about your situation. Unfortunately the ability to repossess a vehicle requires a formal loan document that actually reserves this right. (This is one of the reasons why private sales of automobiles are recommended to be "cash only").

However, just because you cannot repossess the auto does not mean you are without recourse. (Repossession is just the quick extrajudicial remedy).

You can still sue your girlfriend for breach of your oral contract - if the loan was for less than $10,000.00 you can use small claims court (see:

If the amount exceeded $10,000.00 you will need to sue in general civil court (the ideais roughly the same, but the details and procedure are more complicated).

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I actually have the details of the the agreement written in text messages between the two of us, and her reply text of "ok", and "yes"...even texts from her regarding the day of the month that she wanted to make payments on. does this help?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 10 months ago.

These are going to be evidence in support of your oral contract (if you wait so long that the statute of limitations becomes an issue, you can argue that perhaps this is now a written contract and therefore the longer statute applies, but I don't recommend delyaing).

However, with regard to repossession, the information required to be in that particular contract is very detailed and specific - simply having a written loan agreement is not going to be sufficient.