What to do if I bought a car but don’t have a driver’s license so had my now ex-girlfriend sign the title and register it and now she refuses to give it back?

She state that it’s her car. I have the copy of the signed bill of sale from the previous owner to myself. I also have a copy of a police statement from when they were called to a fight we had over the car. She told the police that I bought the car and it’s registered in her name. What are my legal options at this time?

Asked on August 6, 2015 under Business Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You might not have legal options if she claims that you bought the car for her and/or gifted to her, which would explain why you paid for it but it is titled n her name. The law presumes that the car is the property of the person in whose name it is titled; also, gifts, once given, may not be ungiven or retrieved from the recipient. If says that its her car and you gave it to her, then unless you have a written agreement signed by her under which she agrees to give it or sell it to you under certain legal circumstances which have occured, a court would most likely let her keep the car. Note that a court would not enforce an agreement requiring ger to give you the car if you break up; agreements involving monetary or property transfers for dating or staying involved with someone are not enforceable.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You might not have legal options if she claims that you bought the car for her and/or gifted to her, which would explain why you paid for it but it is titled n her name. The law presumes that the car is the property of the person in whose name it is titled; also, gifts, once given, may not be ungiven or retrieved from the recipient. If says that its her car and you gave it to her, then unless you have a written agreement signed by her under which she agrees to give it or sell it to you under certain legal circumstances which have occured, a court would most likely let her keep the car. Note that a court would not enforce an agreement requiring ger to give you the car if you break up; agreements involving monetary or property transfers for dating or staying involved with someone are not enforceable.


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