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Car in my name only

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I am trying to make a decision regarding a vehicle dispute. I was in a relationship for five years. Dring which time I purchased a vehicle. THe vehicle is registered only to me and is financed in my name. When we split up she was driving the car and has since kept the car. I made the first two years of payemnts and when we split I continued to make payments for two months at which time she promised to make payments and obtain financing so that I would sign the vehicle over to her. It has been one year and in that time she has been late on her payments, not recieved any financing ( she was turned down) she has been in an accident that involved alcohol and she did not have insurance which is a violation of my financing aggreement. There is still $6000 owed on the vehicle, I cannot simply sign it over to her since she does not qualify for financing, she has made no effort and is un willing to give the car back to me. I offered to reimburse her payments made minus the amount of the damage and she still continues to drive w/ out insurance and wihtout vehicle license tabs. She is ruining my credit and I am at risk for being sued if she hits another vehicel or continues to violate the finance aggreement. How do I go about obtaining this vehicle from her? Thank you, Perry Smith Washington State


Senior Member
Lets see if I understand this correctly... car is in YOUR name... and financing is in YOUR name.... yet you are letting her drive the car.

Very simple. Go get the car. Use the keys that you still have (you do have them don't you?? If not, take the title down and get some made). Then go to where the car is parked and, peacefully, "repo" YOUR car. After you do it, be sure to call her local police department and let them know that you are the rightful 'titled' owner of the car and that you have taken possession of your property. This notice is to keep them from taking a theft report on the car, which would only further cause you a LOT of trouble.

And if you don't have the 'cajones' to do this yourself, take your title down to a 'repo' service and give them the location of the car and some money. In any case, get your car back. Then, you can sue her for your damages (cost of returning the car back to 'reasonable' condition).


Thank you Steve for your reply...unfortunatley my ex girlfriend requested "use of the car" the last time we were in court for issues surrounding our child...the judge was sick and so a temporary judge was there and he said he couldnt deal with that issue on that day he could only deal with the child issues and so he "strongly advised against self reposession" I contacted an attorney here in washington and he said that what the judge said could be considered a court order...and small claims in washington wont hear property cases only monetary up to $2500...I am thinking maybe we are going to have to go to court simply for this issue...I just dont know what to do..I can't even sign it over to her because she doenst qualify for financing and her insurance wont insure her now that they found out that it is not her car...thank you for you reply any more suggestions? Thanks! Perry


Senior Member
My response:

Are there any more facts you didn't tell us that would put up roadblocks ?

Let's look at this from a realistic point of view.

1. The judge was wrong.

2. What would be the difference if the car was repossessed by the legal owner ?

3. Strongly advising you against "self help" is NOT a court order.

4. Like Halket said, go get your car, and let her spend the money on a court action that she can't win. No one "owes" her a car in this life. If she can't take proper care of your child, then ask the court for a change in custody.


[Edited by I AM ALWAYS LIABLE on 06-01-2001 at 01:45 AM]


car issue

Now it has come about the the car was reposessed and I went to the bank and paid the remaining balance ( 6600) and got the car back. My ex girlfriend is now filing an order to recieve the car back...after I have fixed all of the damages, repainted etc and says she was given temp use of the car...my attorney says that the judge may look simply at the fact that it was ordered to her as temp use however now there is no finance agreement that I am violating by having her have the car so now it may go to her free and clear should I be seeking outside counsel on this is my attorney in the right by saying that I may once again loose the car,...what ar emy options? thank you



I would recomend continuing to consult the attorney who appeared in your second post.
He would probably be in a much better position to advise you, as he would be aware of events as they are occuring, such as the repossession that occurred between your first and third posts.

This also appeared to occur between your second and third posts:
Second post -
...requested "use of the car" the last time we were in court for issues surrounding our child...the judge was sick and so a temporary judge was there and he said he couldnt deal with that issue ... (Yes the judge advised you not to go and pick up the car - so what?)
My take: She requested temp use - temp judge couldn't rule on it - so she didn't get it.

Third post -
...the judge may look simply at the fact that it was ordered to her as temp use...
My take: she has temp use

I'm not a lawyer, these are just some observations on the difficulty of providing meaningful answers to you questions. It's just kind of hard to follow your story -

Hope all this shakes out OK for you,
Good luck
Last edited:


Senior Member
If I understand you correctly, you currently have posession of the car and have paid to fix it up. If correct, sell it NOW! That way you won't have a 'car' for the court to consider. By doing this, you also remove the 'hurdle' of having to provide a vehicle. If the court then orders that you provide some transportation to the 'ex', buy here a clunker car (in good condition) and put it in her name. And you can buy it from the proceeds of the sale of the 'other' car.

Bottom line... get this 'trotline' weight from around your neck.

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