What are my rights if my ex-wife has not kept up with the car payment and now I’m been adversely affected?

My ex-wife and I had a post-marital agreement that she would keep up/stay current on the car payments for the car we have in both our names. Today, I received credit alerts that she is 30 days past due. This has caused considerable financial damage in the fact that it brought down my credit scores of 50 points. I have been diligently building my credit over the past year and a half so I can buy a house. This huge decrease in credit has now made it to the point where I will have to wait another year and a half to even consider a mortgage. Do I have the right to sue or repossess the car?

Asked on March 3, 2016 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have no right to reposses the car: the lender's security interest (right to reposses) takes precedence, and someone else cannot repossess ahead of them. (Also, even without the lender's interest taking priority, you could only repossess if you had a document specifically stating that you could reposess if she failed to make payments.)
You may, however, sue her for breach of contract for failing to make her payments; you could sue to recover the payments she should have made under the terms of the agreement.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have no right to reposses the car: the lender's security interest (right to reposses) takes precedence, and someone else cannot repossess ahead of them. (Also, even without the lender's interest taking priority, you could only repossess if you had a document specifically stating that you could reposess if she failed to make payments.)
You may, however, sue her for breach of contract for failing to make her payments; you could sue to recover the payments she should have made under the terms of the agreement.


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