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What are my legal options if I’m the co-buyer on a vehicle?

Hello, what are my...

Hello, what are my legal options if I’m the co-buyer on a vehicle? Not a co-signer but co-buyer

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And how old is the car?

Texas, vehicle is 2013 Range Rover Sport , purchased it Nov 2017

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No, the other person took full possession of the vehicle and I have no way to get it or use it

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I paid the full down payment which was 5000 which I have copy of cashiers check and I have made all the monthly payments and paying for the insurance

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/8/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,155
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Sure, I just need to know my options

Thanks so much for your patience. So, being a co-signer is different than being a co-buyer. If you are a co-signer, you are only guaranteeing to the bank that you will make payment if the other co-signer cannot make payment. As a co-buyer, whether you have rights are going to depend on whether a) you are on the title to the vehicle and b) whether you and the other co-buyer agreed to provide you a property interest in the vehicle.

If you are on the actual title to the vehicle, this means that you have a property interest in the vehicle itself. If the other co-buyer promised that in exchange for putting money down that you would have an interest in the vehicle, but is now backing out, then that is a breach of contract.

If a party is being blocked from their rights to the vehicle if they are on the title, it is a conversion.

Conversion occurs when there is a substantial interference with the personal property rights of another. This is possible when either a person is blocking the rights of another’s right to the personal property, even if that person had authority to possess the property, but that right was taken away by the owner (e.g. the owner took away permission from the person currently in possession). Usually, the measure of damages is the fair market value of the property at the time of conversion. For example, a vehicle that is worth $4,000 at the time the owner’s access was blocked is likely what a court would award. You may want to consider just writing a formal demand letter advising that the property should be returned ASAP There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for a demand letter (click here). It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation.

If you were just given a promise that you would have rights to the vehicle, then it's a breach of contract. A breach of contract just simply means that one party was obligated to perform and they have either have not performed or have said that they will not perform. Typically, the aggrieved party is entitled to be returned to the same position they were in before the breach. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. This website is also pretty cool because you can download the forms right after purchasing. Click here to get started. What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you so much, I’m happy I do have options and yes the title will reflect both of our names. This information was extremely helpful.

The pleasure is all mine! Unless you have additional questions, there’s just a few other things I’d like you to know before we wrap up this conversation:

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
You will definitely get five stars from me , are you in the Houston area?

Thanks so much! I wish I was, but the closest I'll get is my sister-in-law living in the area.

One of the hardest things to do sometimes is find a lawyer that you can trust. Google searches are a good place to start, but usually the lawyers who pay the most in advertising can get bumped up to be on the first page regardless of their quality. One thing I recommend is going through your state’s lawyer referral service (LRS). The LRS in each state typically requires the attorney to have several years of practice, be free of discipline, and have adequate staffing to assist people. Here is the link for the Texas LRS - click here. You can also search for attorneys on a website called Lawyer Legion (click here) that scours all 50 states based on the kind of attorney you need.

Did you have any other questions for me today?

Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,155
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified
Legal Eagle and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
No that’s it, thanks again.... have a great day

You bet!

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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